No systematic, universally accepted method of diagnosing malnutrition in hospitalized patients exists, which may contribute to underdiagnosis, undertreatment, and poorer patient outcomes. To address this issue, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is conducting a cohort study to: assess the predictive validity of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition indicators for the diagnosis of adult and pediatric malnutrition in hospital settings; assess the interrater reliability of the indicators for the diagnosis of adult and pediatric malnutrition; and quantify the level of registered dietitian nutritionist care needed to improve patient outcomes. Up to 60 adult and 60 pediatric hospital sites will collect data to estimate level of registered dietitian nutritionist care, along with patient medical history and Malnutrition Screening Tool (adult) or STRONGkids (pediatric) results. A subset of 600 adult and 600 pediatric patients (∼1:1 screened as high- or low-risk for malnutrition) will be randomly selected for the indicators for the diagnosis of adult and pediatric malnutrition and Nutrition Focused Physical Exam data collection; 100 adult and 100 pediatric patients in this group will also undergo a bioelectrical impedance analysis measurement. Additional nutrition care and medical outcomes (eg, mortality and length of stay) will be collected for a 3-month period after the initial nutrition encounter. Multilevel linear, logistic, Poisson, or Cox regression models will be used to assess indicators for the diagnosis of adult and pediatric malnutrition validity and registered dietitian nutritionist staffing levels as appropriate for each medical outcome. Validation results will allow US clinicians to standardize the way they diagnose malnutrition in hospitalized patients, and the staffing data will support advocacy for available registered dietitian nutritionist-delivered malnutrition treatment to improve patient outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics