Frequently Asked Questions

What is enteral nutrition?

Enteral nutrition support refers to the introduction of a nutritionally complete liquid formula directly into the stomach or small intestine via a narrow, often specifically designed, tube. (Dietitians Association of Australia).

What is parenteral nutrition?

Parenteral nutrition support refers to the infusion of an intravenous nutrition formula into the bloodstream. Total Parenteral Nutrition, or TPN, means that the infusion is providing a patient’s complete nutritional requirements. Parenteral nutrition can be delivered either centrally, into the superior vena cava, or peripherally, that is into other veins, subject to additional limitations. Peripheral parenteral nutrition is less commonly used in Australian hospitals. (Dietitians Association of Australia).

What are the aims of this association and who can join?

The aim of this association is to improve the nutritional care of people at risk of malnutrition whether in hospitals or in the community and to promote basic and advanced clinical research and to organize the consensus statements about clinical care and care quality control.

We strongly believe that mastering clinical nutrition is a combination of experience and constant updating of knowledge. If every nutrition support clinician learns something each day of his or her life, then after a few years, they can master Clinical Nutrition and can give best possible treatment to the patients. As per our view, an expert is not only an experienced person or well qualified person but an expert is a lifelong learner. From 2012 to till today, we tried inculcating lifelong learning processes to nutrition support clinicians. The lifelong learning can be reading new materials or joining courses or attending workshops or conferences or learning online or publishing in journal etc...

Doctors, Dietitians, Pharma and Nurses who are involved in nutrition care can join IAPEN.

How increasing our knowledge in advanced clinical nutrition helps us achieving the aims and objectives of IAPEN?

IAPEN's aim is to fight against malnutrition. IAPEN first aims to fight against malnutrition present in hospitals. After achieving enough expertise in treating patients with all types of advanced clinical nutrition techniques, then with the help of these experts, IAPEN will try helping people at community level.

What are the objectives of IAPEN?

  1. To support individual patients and groups needing nutritional intervention
    1. IAPEN will listen to patients’/carers’ nutritional concerns and will act appropriately.
    2. IAPEN will lobby for patient centered policies relating to nutritional care.
    3. IAPEN will promote equity of access to nutritional care for all patients.
  2. To establish a sound basis to enable realisation of the above objectives.
    1. IAPEN will initiate and maintain regular meetings with the relevant government departments, specialist societies and other key stakeholders at national level.
    2. IAPEN will develop a robust financial structure.
    3. IAPEN will describe and implement a formal mechanism for raising funds for specific nutritional initiatives.
    4. IAPEN will identify a formal administrative infrastructure.
  3. To raise awareness about IAPEN and its role in the healthcare agenda
    1. IAPEN will actively seek to increase its membership by recruiting new Individual Affiliates and new Associate Clinical Interest Groups.
    2. IAPEN will develop a commercially viable regular publication to share and disseminate good practice.
    3. IAPEN will develop effective links with other similar organisations while maintaining its singular position of expertise.
    4. IAPEN will establish regular meetings at regional level to encourage networking/information sharing.
  4. To develop a robust and cohesive approach to information gathering about nutrition provision at national level and to identify/redress any gaps.
    1. IAPEN will support FOCUS initiatives targeted at identified areas of practice so that information can be collected and disseminated.
    2. IAPEN will produce regular reports and promote national standards of practice.
  5. To identify which people are at risk of malnutrition
    1. IAPEN activities, related to under-nutrition, will be fully integrated in both hospital and community settings.
    2. IAPEN will try developing a systematic protocol to fight malnutrition.
    3. IAPEN will ensure that its expertise and experience in the metabolic and practical management of patients with disease-related malnutrition is recognised and disseminated
    4. IAPEN will identify and disseminate best practice in the nutritional repletion of malnourished patients of all ages
  6. To provide support for multi-professional / disciplinary groups wishing to develop a clinical Nutrition Support Team
    1. IAPEN will promote the Education and Training Committee course and other such initiatives
    2. IAPEN will develop standards through which the support team can identify good practice and benchmark their own activity.
    3. IAPEN will lead other clinical governance initiatives related to nutritional intervention.
  7. To contribute to enhanced multi-professional education and research in clinical nutrition
    1. IAPEN will have clearly described and appropriately funded programmes for scientific research/development
    2. IAPEN will have an explicit development programme to enhance education and clinical practice
    3. IAPEN will host an Annual Conference reflecting current trends in research and clinical practice
    (Adopted from BAPEN, UK).

Why IAPEN is called as The Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism?

IAPEN is called as "The Indian Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition" and in 2012, we started promoting IAPEN with this name similar to developed countries, ASPEN, USA - The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, BAPEN - British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition etc.

Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition is still a very new concept in India. To widen its scope and reach out to maximum number of healthcare professionals, we have adopted the name The Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

After changing the name to "The Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism", in 2014, we have been able to bring in more nutrition support clinicians. 

When, we observed the curriculum of Post Graduate degree in any relevant branch in India, Enteral and Parenteral are sub-units or a small part of the syllabus, and were often not taught at all or taught partially in colleges or universities. In a lot of instances, Evidence Based Nutrition Practice (EBNP) was missing. This may be due to the fact that in India, enough EBNP is not present. Many critical care nutrition support clinicians in India do not know about the established guidelines like - ESPEN or ASPEN guidelines. Though some may be referring to these guidelines in their practice, but may not have real capability of grasping the entirety of the content present in the guidelines modules. To avoid such kind of understanding problems, IAPEN promotes life members to publish at least one manuscript in any good journal. 

I am referring to all types of ESPEN or ASPEN guidelines and I am giving best practices to my patients, why do I have to publish manuscripts or participate in lifelong learning initiative of IAPEN?

We always believe in EBNP (Evidence Based Nutrition Practice) in its entirety. If any nutrition support clinician feels that they are giving best practices, then they should prove it by publishing in top journals or by completing advanced IAPEN or ESPEN courses or they should at least purchase a book on any nutrition topic and write test on it (Click here for more details) or they should attend workshops or expert lectures or if they do not have time for all this, they can also write direct examination conducted by IAPEN. In future, patients will demand for such proofs and will check for credentials.

Writing manuscripts/research papers are a way of learning for the individual and documenting the results achieved. Research is an integral part of learning and growing as a clinician. It provides credibility to the work done, reference material for others and in the long run may even help in setting national guidelines and provide the basis for formulation of nutritional supplements for the Indian population.