Background & aims: Malnutrition is a serious concern for children with cancer and nutrition screening may offer a simple alternative to nutrition assessment for identifying children with cancer who are at risk of malnutrition. The present paper aimed to evaluate the nutrition screening tool for childhood cancer (SCAN).
Methods: SCAN was developed after an extensive review of currently available tools and published screening recommendation, consideration of pediatric oncology nutrition guidelines, piloting questions, and consulting with members of International Pediatric Oncology Nutrition Group. In Study 1, the accuracy and validity of SCAN against pediatric subjective global nutrition assessment (pediatric SGNA) was determined. In Study 2, subjects were classified as 'at risk of malnutrition' and 'not at risk of malnutrition' according to SCAN and measures of height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and body composition were compared between the groups.
Results: The validation of SCAN against pediatric SGNA showed SCAN had 'excellent' accuracy (0.90, 95% CI 0.78-1.00; p < 0.001), 100% sensitivity, 39% specificity, 56% positive predictive value and 100% negative predictive value. When subjects in Study 2 were classified into 'at risk of malnutrition' and 'not at risk of malnutrition' according to SCAN, the 'at risk of malnutrition' group had significantly lower values for weight Z score (p = 0.001), BMI Z score (p = 0.001) and fat mass index (FMI) (p = 0.04), than the 'not at risk of malnutrition' group.
Conclusions: This study shows that SCAN is a simple, quick and valid tool which can be used to identify children with cancer who are at risk of malnutrition.
Keywords: Cancer; Children; Malnutrition; Nutrition; Nutrition screening; SCAN.
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