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Assessing Adult Malnutrition (Undernutrition) Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is for students to become familiar with current expert consensus on how malnutrition is assessed and diagnosed in adult patients.

READ:  White JV, GuenterP, Jensen G, et al.  Consensus statement of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition:  Characteristics recommended for the identification and documentation of adult malnutrition (undernutrition).  J. Acad Nutr Diet 2012; 112: 730-738.

RESPOND to the following questions:

1.     List four reasons why malnutrition is a problem.
•    Increase morbidity and mortality
•    Decrease function and quality of life
•    Increase frequency and length of hospital stay
•    Higher health cost

2.     What is the difference between a chronic illness and an acute illness?
The difference is the time

3.     Discuss the relationship between serum albumin and prealbumin, weight loss, and malnutrition.

4.     What is the relationship between malnutrition and the inflammatory response?

5.     List the six characteristics that are required for diagnosis of malnutrition.  How many of these must be present to confirm the diagnosis of malnutrition?
Two or more of the characteristic must be present to confirm malnutrition.
The characteristics are:
•    Insufficient energy intake
•    Wight loss
•    Loss of muscle mass
•    Loss of subcutenous fat
•    Localized or generalized fluid accumulation that may mask weight loss
•    Diminished functional status as measured by hand grip strength

6.     Clinical judgment is required in assessing adults for malnutrition.  List 3 examples of patients for whom malnutrition is not a consistently appropriate diagnosis.

7.     Patients with severe acute illness or injury, i.e. with extreme metabolic stress, can rapidly develop malnutrition.  List 3 contributing factors to this.

8.     Complete the following table on assessing adult patients for malnutrition.
Category    Parameter/s to measure or assess    In the Nutrition Care Process, this would be part of:
Medical History & clinical diagnosis

Physical Exam/
Clinical Signs

Anthropometric Data

Laboratory Data

Food/Nutrient Intake

Functional Assessment

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