Background: The feasibility of accessing data in hospitalized patients to support a malnutrition diagnosis using the new Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (AND-A.S.P.E.N.) consensus recommended clinical characteristics of malnutrition is largely unknown. We sought to characterize baseline practice to guide the development of appropriate interventions for implementation of the recommended approach.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 262 consecutive adults who were referred for dietitian or nutrition support team assessments at 2 tertiary teaching hospitals in Pennsylvania. The availability of data to support the proposed AND-A.S.P.E.N. approach and the resulting malnutrition diagnoses were examined.
Results: Mean ± SD age was 58.2 ± 17.1 years, and half were female. Food intake history was available for 76%, weight history for 67%, and physical examination for loss of fat and muscle mass for 94% and for edema for 84%. Hand-grip strength was not available. The prevalence of malnutrition among the patients referred for nutrition assessment was 6.7% moderate, 7.6% severe with acute illness; 12.2% moderate, 11% severe with chronic illness; and 0.8% moderate, 0.4% severe with social circumstances. Decline in typical food intake and weight loss were the most commonly used clinical characteristics.
Conclusion: Data could generally be accessed to support the AND-A.S.P.E.N. consensus clinical characteristics for malnutrition diagnosis, but further testing in multiple care settings is needed before these observations may be generalized. Training in assessment methods and dissemination of the necessary tools will be necessary for full implementation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics