Development of a novel nutrition screening tool for use in elderly South Africans

Charlton K.E., Kolbe-Alexander T.L. and Nel J.H. (2005). Development of a novel nutrition screening tool for use in elderly South Africans. In: , , (468-479). . doi:10.1079/PHN2005783

Author Charlton K.E.
Kolbe-Alexander T.L.
Nel J.H.
Title of paper Development of a novel nutrition screening tool for use in elderly South Africans
Journal name Public Health Nutrition   Check publisher's open access policy
Publication Year 2005
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1079/PHN2005783
ISSN 1368-9800
Volume 8
Issue 5
Start page 468
End page 479
Total pages 12
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Objective: To develop a nutrition screening tool for use in older South Africans. Design: A cross-sectional validation study in 283 free-living and institutionalised black South Africans (60+ years). Methods: Trained fieldworkers administered a 24-hour recall and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) screening tool, and performed anthropometric measurements and physical function tests. Cognitive function was assessed using a validated version of the Six-Item Cognitive Impairment Test. Biochemical indicators assessed included serum albumin, haemoglobin, ferritin, vitamin B12, red-blood-cell folate, cholesterol and vitamin C. The MNA was used as the gold standard against which a novel screening tool was developed using a six-step systematic approach, namely: correspondence analysis; identification of key questions; determination of internal consistency; correlational analyses with objective measures; determination of reference cut-off values for categories of nutritional risk; and determination of sensitivity and specificity. Results: The new screening tool includes nine separate concepts, comprising a total of 14 questions, as well as measurement of mid-upper arm circumference. The new tool score was positively associated with level of independence in either basic activities of daily living (r = 0.472) or the more complex instrumental activities of daily living (r = 0.233). A three-category scoring system of nutritional risk was developed and shown to significantly characterise subjects according to physical function tests, level of independence and cognitive function. The new tool has good sensitivity (87.5%) and specificity (95.0%) compared with the MNA scoring system. It has a very high negative predictive value (99.5%), which means that the tool is unlikely to falsely classify subjects as well nourished/at risk when they are in fact malnourished. Conclusion: A novel screening tool has been shown to have content-, construct- and criterion-related validity, and the individual items have been shown to have good internal consistency. Further validation of the tool in a new population of elderly Africans is warranted.
Subjects 2701 Medicine (miscellaneous)
2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keyword Africans
Mini Nutritional Assessment
Nutrition screening
Nutritional risk
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

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