Nutrition practice in critically ill adults – an observational study: NUTRIENT

NUTRIENT is a multicentre, observational study of nutrition practices in critically ill adults across Australia and New Zealand.

Primary Aim: To develop a platform to study nutrition provision and practice over the duration of hospitalisation in critically ill adults in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) that will inform nutrition care and research.

Primary objectives:

  1. To profile nutrition provision and practice across hospitalisation in critically ill adults in ANZ.
  2. To provide a benchmarking opportunity for nutrition practice in critically ill patients across ANZ.
  3. To provide participating hospitals with data on their nutrition practice in critically ill adult patients across the period of hospitalisation for their own quality processes.
  4. To provide basic information to inform future critical care nutrition research questions and priorities.


  1. To compare change in practice between the two proposed study time points.

Rationale: To determine the role of nutrition in recovery from critical illness, current practice must first be understood. However, no benchmarking process currently exists for nutrition practice during critical illness. This vital gap requires addressing.

Previously, the International Nutrition Survey (INS) provided a national and international benchmarking opportunity for nutrition during critical illness. Conducted 5 times between 2007 and 2014, the information from this survey provided participating sites with data about their nutrition practice and informed the wider community about practices in the area. This process ceased in 2014 and was changed into a registry based randomised controlled trial. Moreover, no nutrition benchmarking has ever been performed in the post-ICU period of critical illness, and while relatively unexplored, this may be a crucial time for nutritional rehabilitation.

Study Progress: The first study period will be conducted in February 2021, and a second is proposed in 2023. Approximately 50 hospitals from Australia and New Zealand have agreed to participate in the first study period.

Registration: Pending.

Contact: For further information about this study, please contact the NUTRIENT Project Manager, Victoria King, by email.