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Nutrition. 2015 Apr;31(4):594-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.12.027. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Which screening method is appropriate for older cancer patients at risk for malnutrition?

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Faculty of Health Science and Medicine, Nutrition and Dietetics Program, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia. Electronic address:
Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, United Kingdom.


The risk for malnutrition increases with age and presence of cancer, and it is particularly common in older cancer patients. A range of simple and validated nutrition screening tools can be used to identify malnutrition risk in cancer patients (e.g., Malnutrition Screening Tool, Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form Revised, Nutrition Risk Screening, and the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool). Unintentional weight loss and current body mass index are common components of screening tools. Patients with cancer should be screened at diagnosis, on admission to hospitals or care homes, and during follow-up at outpatient or general practitioner clinics, at regular intervals depending on clinical status. Nutritional assessment is a comprehensive assessment of dietary intake, anthropometrics, and physical examination often conducted by dietitians or geriatricians after simple screening has identified at-risk patients. The result of nutritional screening, assessment and the associated care plans should be documented, and communicated, within and between care settings for best patient outcomes.


Malnutrition; Nutrition assessment; Nutrition screening; Nutritional status

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