Nutritional screening in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic literature review

Megan B Phillips, Amanda L Foley, Robert Barnard, Elisabeth A Isenring, Michelle D Miller
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010, 19 (3): 440-9
Nutrition screening is a process used to quickly identify those who may be at risk of malnutrition so that a full nutrition assessment and appropriate nutrition intervention can be provided. While many nutrition screening tools have been developed, few have been evaluated for use in older adults in the community setting. The aim of this paper is to determine the most appropriate nutrition screening tool/s, in terms of validity and reliability, for identifying malnutrition risk in older adults living in the community. Electronic databases MEDLINE, PUBMED, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library were searched for nutrition screening tools to identify malnutrition or under-nutrition for adults greater than 65 years living in the community. Ten screening tools were found for use in community-dwelling older adults and subjected to validity and/or reliability testing: Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF), Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), Nutrition Screening Initiative (NSI), which includes the DETERMINE Checklist and Level I and II Screen, Australian Nutritional Screening Initiative (ANSI), Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition (SCREEN I and SCREEN II), Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ), Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire (SNAQ), and two unnamed tools. MNA-SF appears to be the most appropriate nutrition screening tool for use in community-dwelling older adults although MUST and SCREEN II also have evidence to support their use. Further research into the acceptability of screening tools focusing on the outcomes of nutrition screening and appropriate nutrition intervention are required.

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