Lack of knowledge and diagnostics hinders the implementation of sarcopenia in daily practice

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Objectives: Sarcopenia is an emerging clinical challenge in an ageing population and is associated with negative health outcomes. Healthcare professionals play a key role in diagnosing and managing sarcopenia. This study aimed to assess the current state of knowledge regarding the definition of sarcopenia, strategy diagnosing it and involved collaborating healthcare professionals among a group of Dutch healthcare professionals attending a lecture cycle on sarcopenia. Methods: The Sarcopenia Road Show comprised lectures and workshops on the pathophysiology of sarcopenia in one session, influencing factors and respective interventions at multiple locations in the Netherlands in 2015. Attending health care professionals were asked to complete a questionnaire (n = 223) before, directly after and after five months. Results: 69.7% of healthcare professionals stated to know the definition of sarcopenia and 82.6% had treated patients with suspected sarcopenia. Only 21.4% indicated to know how to formally diagnose sarcopenia; 47.5% used their clinical view. If diagnostic measures were used, handgrip strength was the most frequent one (33.9%). Five months after attendance, muscle mass was measured by 13.9%, handgrip strength by 50.6% and gait speed by 54.4%. Bottlenecks during the implementation of diagnosing sarcopenia were experienced by 67.1% participants; lack of knowledge among collaborating healthcare professionals, the acquisition of equipment and time constrains to perform the diagnostic tests were most often reported. Conclusions: The concept of sarcopenia is familiar to most and diverse healthcare professionals, however lack of formal knowledge hinders the implementation of diagnostics and intervention of sarcopenia in daily practice; collaboration should be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S130
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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