Efficacy of Nutrition Screening Tools in Predicting the Length of Hospital Stay in Older Hospitalized Patients
Objective: The prevalence of malnutrition remains high in older hospitalized patients. Subjective Global Assessment, the Nutrition Risk Screening-2002, and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool are widely used screening and assessment tools, but comparison of their efficacy in predicting clinical outcomes like length of hospital stay remain scarce. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of these tools in predicting length of hospital stay in a group of older hospitalized patients.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed in a sample of 72 patients consecutively admitted to a geriatric medicine ward. Subjective Global Assessment, Nutrition Risk Screening-2002 and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool were performed within 24 hours of admission. Patients were classified as having prolonged length of hospital stay if they stay in the hospital for more than ten days. The association of baseline malnutrition defined by each tool and the prolonged length of hospital stay was assessed using unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 73.5 ± 6.9 years, and 61.1% were women. The prevalence of malnutrition was 45.8% with Subjective Global Assessment, 51.4% with Nutrition Risk Screening-2002, and 33.3% with Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool. Among the entire cohort, twenty-nine patients (40.2%) had longer length of the hospital stay. After adjusted for covariates, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the Subjective Global Assessment had the best predictive power (OR: 3.9; p: 0.02), followed by Nutrition Risk Screening-2002 (OR: 3.8; p: 0.03), and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (OR: 2.9; p: 0.02).
Conclusion: Malnutrition assessed by the Subjective Global Assessment, Nutrition Risk Screening-2002 and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool on admission predict prolonged length of hospital stay in hospitalized older patients.
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