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J Nutr Health Aging. 2012;16(9):759-62. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0050-z.

Feasibility and reliability of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) in older adults with intellectual disabilities.

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Intellectual Disability Medicine, Department of General Practice, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Feasibility and reliability of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) in older adults with intellectual disabilities (ID).


Instrument development.


Three care providers for people with ID.


48 persons aged 50 years and over with borderline to profound ID and their professional caregivers.


The MNA was performed by means of interviews with participants (N = 12) and caregivers (N = 48) and physical assessments of participants (N = 47). Aspects of feasibility: completion of interview, difficulty of answering interview items, duration of interview and completion of physical assessment. Aspects of reliability: inter-observer reliability between caregivers and between participants and caregivers, test-retest reliability and internal consistency. For inter-observer and test-retest reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated, and for internal consistency Chronbach's alpha.


All participants and caregivers completed the interview part. For 7 out of 12 personally interviewed participants and none of the caregivers, at least 3 out of 15 questions were difficult to answer. Mean duration of the interview was 7 minutes in participants and 4 minutes in caregivers. Physical assessment was successfully performed in 40 participants (85.1%). In the remaining 7 participants (14.9%) missing values were retrieved from the medical records. ICCs (95% confidence interval) for test-retest and inter-observer reliability between caregivers were good, 0.85 (0.72 - 0.92) and 0.86 (0.74 - 0.92) respectively, but ICC for inter-observer reliability between caregivers and persons with ID was low, 0.03 (-0.51 - 0.59). Internal consistency was 0.61.


The MNA is feasible and reliable for older people with ID. Interview data can be reliably obtained through caregivers, but not through people with ID.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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