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MINERVA GASTROENTEROLOGICA E DIETOLOGICA

A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics


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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2001 June;47(2):61-6

language: Italian

Evaluation of malnutrition risk in adult hospital patients

Tinivella M., Barbera S., Crea M. R., Giurdanella V., Avagnina P.


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Background. The aim of the study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of a risk of malnutrition screening tool (MST) proposed by Ferguson et al. for adult hospital patients.
Methods. The study included 207 consecutive patients admitted to a Hospital (118 males, 89 females, aged 61±16 years) including internal medicine (89), lung (60) and surgical (58) patients. The MST, consisting of three questions regarding appetite and recent unintentional weight loss, was applied to each patients. Peripheral lymphocytes and serum albumin considered as predictor of nutritional status were also evaluated.
Results. Forty-two patients (20% of overall population) resulted malnourished at admission and nutrition support was rapidly established. Of the remaining, 141 (85%), according to the score of MST were not at risk of malnutrition, while 24 (15%) were classified at risk. Peripheral lymphocytes and serum albumin were unable to discriminate the risk in well-nourished patients.
Conclusions. The proposed MST is confirmed as strongly predictor of nutritional status. It is a simple, quick, reliable, valid tool and can be carried out nursing staff. Its routine application will consistently identify patients at risk of malnutrition so that nutrition care can be promptly started.

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