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A14. Nutritional screening of the elderly residing in the community

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Abstract:

Background Malnutrition in the elderly is common, but is often unrecognized ( Lennard‐Jones, 1992). Health and Social Services (HSS) use a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) form to identify the needs of the elderly, who are no longer able to look after themselves. ’Nutritional Needs’ is the only nutritional aspect of the CAN form, but does not identify subjects that need nutritional support or to be referred to the Dietitian. From 1 August 1997 to 31 January 1998, HSS used a Nutritional Screening Checklist (NSCL) to identify those at risk of malnutrition. Elderly people assessed at high or moderate risk of malnutrition were referred to a Community Dietitian

Aims The aims of the study was to evaluate the use of the NSCL in nutritional screening.

Methods In this study, the CNA (n = 46) forms were checked to examine whether the NSCL indicated that an individual was at nutritional risk. Those elderly people identified by NSCL at low risk of malnutrition were visited to determine if they should have been referred to a Dietitian for nutritional intervention

Results The results shown in the table illustrate the number and percentage of subjects in each category (age‐adjusted standard) of BMI in the low risk group.

Of the 15 subjects identified by the NSCL at low risk of malnutrition on assessment by anthropometry, dietary history and a questionnaire, 6 (43%) subjects had dietary intakes less than the EAR ( DoH, 1992), were found to be underweight according to the age‐need of nutritional intervention by the Dietitian.

Conclusion It was concluded that the NSCL is not a valid tool to identify elderly people in Northern Ireland at nutritional risk.

Document Type: Abstract

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-277x.2000.00001-15.x

Affiliations: School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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