BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Malnutrition is a major health problem in hospitalized pediatric patients. It is reported that the number of malnourished pediatric patients varies between 21% and 80% according to the level of the country's development. It is essential that patients who are malnourished or at risk for malnutrition be identified as soon as they are admitted to the hospital. A recent study applied 3 nutritional risk screening tools (Screening Tool for Risk on Nutritional Status and Growth [STRONGkids], Screening Tool for the Assessment of Malnutrition in Paediatrics [STAMP], and Paediatric Yorkhill Malnutrition Score [PYMS]) to children admitted to a tertiary children's hospital in Iran. The goal of this study was to evaluate the nutritional status of hospitalized children in a tertiary pediatric hospital in Mashhad, Iran, and to compare the validity, ease of use, and the varying prevalence of malnutrition according to these 3 nutritional risk screening tools.
Three nutritional risk score tools were applied to all patients, and patients were then classified into low-, medium-, and high-risk groups. The anthropometry of hospitalized children was determined and classified by using standard criteria. The validity and the ease of use of the tools were assessed.
Of the children classified, 30.6% were found to be undernourished based on their weight-for-height z score, and the prevalence of moderate and severe malnutrition was 22.8% according to height for age. PYMS identified 23.5% in the medium-risk group and 52.2% in the high-risk group. STAMP identified 20.9% in the medium-risk group and 69.6% in the high-risk group. STRONGkids classified 71.3% of children as medium risk and 7.8% as high risk. STAMP detected more malnourished children (21 of 21) compared with PYMS (20 of 21) and STRONGkids (17 of 21).
Nutritional risk screening tools were able to detect children at a higher risk of nutrition deterioration; however, variable utility was observed. Further assessment of NRS tools in developing countries is required. In these countries, PYMS was the most reliable tool.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics