Document Type

Honors Thesis


There are many factors that contribute toward negative outcomes in the healthcare setting for hospitalized older adults (Tappenden, Quatrara, Parkhurst, Malone, Fanjiang, & Ziegler, 2013). One of these factors includes meeting nutritional requirements. Unfortunately, many cases of malnutrition in patients 65 years and older, who are admitted to the hospital, go unnoticed due to the lack of nutritional screening tool implementation (Tappenden et al., 2013). Therefore, this study looks at two of the most popular nutritional screening tools, the MNA-SF and MUST, to identify malnutrition in older adults with a preexisting diagnosis of either malnutrition or failure to thrive and to determine their effectiveness. Charts from fifteen older adults with the diagnosis of malnutrition, and fifteen older adults with the diagnosis of failure to thrive were analyzed using the MNA-SF and MUST nutrition screening tools at a south-central USA hospital. Data collected included anthropometric data, diagnoses, hospital problems, age, food intake, loss of appetite history, digestive problems, chewing or swallowing difficulties, previous weight loss, mobility status, psychological stress, acute disease, neuropsychological problems, and body mass index. The results indicated that the MNA-SF screening tool consistently identified 100% of patients with either risk-for malnutrition or current malnourishment, while the MUST screening tool only identified 60% of patients from the same sample size.

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