Objective: Routine identification of nutritional risk screening is paramount as the first stage in nutritional treatment of the elderly. The major focus of former validation studies of screening tools has been on the ability to predict undernutrition. The aim of this study was to validate Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF), the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), Body Mass Index (BMI) <24, and the Eating Validation Scheme (EVS), using published randomized controlled trials of nutritional intervention among old people in primary health care, in order to evaluate whether they were capable of distinguishing those with a positive benefit from those that showed no benefit of nutritional intervention.
Methods: The methods used were a literature search; classification of participants with respect to nutritional risk according to the different nutritional screening tools; and validation (i.e., evaluation of whether the different tools were capable of distinguishing those with a positive benefit from those that showed no benefit of nutritional intervention by assessing the positive [PPV] and negative [NPV] predictive values).
Results: MNA-SF, NRS-2002, BMI <24 and EVS had the highest PPV (0.75) and EVS the highest NPV (0.74) with regard to function-the primary clinical outcome.
Conclusion: Overall EVS seemed most capable of distinguishing those clients and residents with a positive benefit from those that showed no benefit of nutritional intervention. The findings should be confirmed in further validation and intervention studies.
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