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NCPD Article

Nutritional Screening: Development and Implementation of a Protocol in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Ashley Laursen
CJON 2020, 24(4), 415-420 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.415-420

Background: Half of all patients with head and neck cancer are malnourished at the time of diagnosis. Although nutritional status can be predictive of patient-related outcomes, nutritional screening protocols have not been widely accepted as standard of care.

Objectives: This article aims to develop and pilot a nutritional screening protocol in an outpatient head and neck clinic using the abridged version of the Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment (abPG-SGA) so that at-risk patients are identified and can maintain or minimize weight loss and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: At initial and subsequent visits, study participants completed the abPG-SGA, documenting percentage of weight loss and BMI from baseline.

Findings: 317 patients completed the abPG-SGA, with 119 scoring 6 or more, prompting a dietitian referral. The nutritional screening protocol accurately identified at-risk patients and resulted in less weight loss and BMI change.

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