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Tool and Resource Evaluation Template

Adapted by NARI from an evaluation template created by Melbourne Health.

Some questions may not be applicable to every tool and resource.

Name and purpose Name of the resource: Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST)
Author(s) of the resource: M. Ferguson, S. Capra, J . Bauer, M. Banks.
Please state why the resource was developed and what gap it proposes to fill: This tool is
designed to identify malnourished individuals and individuals at risk of malnutrition. It does not
require any anthropometric measurement such as weight or calculation (body mass index, percent
weight loss). Any health worker can use this screening tool. It has been demonstrated to be
simple, quick, valid and reliable.
Target audience
(the tool is to be
used by)
Please check all that apply:
Health service users Carers
Medical staff Nursing staff Any member of an interdisciplinary team
Medical specialist, please specify:
Specific allied health staff, please specify:
Other, please specify:
(to be used on/in)
Is the resource targeted for a specific setting? Please check all that apply:
Emergency Department Inpatient acute Inpatient subacute Ambulatory
Other, please specify:
The MST was developed for use in acute adult hospital patients. It has also been validated for use
in patients undergoing cancer treatments (radiotherapy, chemotherapy).
For which particular health service users would you use this resource (e.g. a person with
suspected cognitive impairment)?
It is suitable for all adult inpatients, excluding maternity and psychiatry.
Structure of tool Website Education package Video
Pamphlet Assessment tool Screening tool
Methodology Resource guide Awareness raising resource (posters etc.)
Other, please specify:
Please state the size of the resource (e.g. number of pages, minutes to read):
The MST is one page in length, with three questions. It takes approximately 30 seconds to read.
Availability and
cost of tool
Is the resource readily available? Yes No Unknown Not applicable
Is there a cost for the resource? Yes No Unknown Not applicable
Please state how to get the resource:
Provided below:
Malnutrition Screening Tool
It is also available on the internet at:
Applicability to
rural settings and
culturally and
Is the resource suitable for use in rural health services (e.g. the necessary staff are usually
available in rural settings)? Yes No Unknown Not applicable
Is the resource available in different languages?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable
Is the content appropriate for different cultural groups?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable Must be able to speak English
Does the resource adhere to/promote person-centred health care?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable
Is additional training necessary to use the resource?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable
If applicable, please state how extensive any training is, and what resources are required:
How long does the resource take to use? 0-5 mins 5-15 mins 15-25mins 25mins +

Can the resource be used as a standalone, or must it be used in conjunction with other
tools, resources, and procedures?

Must be used with other resources, please specify: A positive result (score >2) indicates
further expert assessment by a dietitian.
Can be used with other tools, please specify:
Data collection and
Are additional resources required to collect and analyse data from the resource?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable
If applicable, please state any special resources required (e.g. computer software):
Sensitivity and
Has the sensitivity and specificity of the resource been reported?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable

If applicable, please state what has been reported:
The sensitivity has been reported as 93% (95% CI 84 98%) and the specificity 93% (95% CI 90-

Face Validity
Does the resource appear to meet the intended purpose?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable

Has the reliability of the resource been reported?
Yes No Unknown Not applicable

If applicable, please state what has been reported:
Inter-rater reliability reported to be between 90-97%.

What are the strengths of the resource? Is the resource easy to understand and use? Are
instructions provided on how to use the resource? Is the resource visually well presented
(images, colour, font type/ size)? Does the resource use older friendly terminology (where
relevant), avoiding jargon?

Please state any other known strengths, using dot points:
Quick & simple
Sensitive & high level of inter-rater reliability
Can be used by any health professional
Does not require any anthropometrical or biochemical measurements

What are the limitations of the tool/resource? Is the tool/resource difficult to understand
and use? Are instructions provided on how to use the tool/resource? Is the tool/resource
poorly presented (images, colour, font type/ size)? Does the tool/resource use difficult to
understand jargon?

Please state any other known limitations, using dot points:
Difficult to use in patients with communication difficulties such as delirium, dementia,
hearing impairments or of non English-speaking backgrounds
Not specifically designed for the older, sub-acute population

References and
further reading
Supporting references and associated reading.

1. Ferguson M et al. Development of a valid and reliable malnutrition screening tool for adult
acute hospital patients. Nutrition 1999; Vol 15, No 6: 458-464.

2. Van Veenrooij et al. Quick-and-easy nutritional screening tools to detect disease-related
undernutrition in hospital in- and outpatient settings: A systematic review of sensitivity and
specificity. Clinical Nutrition 2007; Vol 2: 21-37.

3. Isenring I et al. Validity of the Malnutrition Screening tool as an effective predictor of
nutritional risk in oncology outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Supportive Care in
Cancer 2006. Vol 14, No 11: 1152-1156.

Is your patient at risk?
1. Have you / the patient lost weight recently without trying?
No 0
Unsure 2
Yes, how much (kg)?
1 5 1
6 10 2
11 15 3
> 15 4
Unsure 2
2. Have you / the patient been eating poorly because of
a decreased appetite?
No 0
Yes 1
Total Score
References: 1. Ferguson M, et al. Nutrition 1999;15:458-464. 2. Banks M, et al. Malnutrition and Pressure Ulcers in Queensland Hospitals. Proceedings of 22nd National DAA Conference,
Melbourne 2004. Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd. ABN 95 000 180 389. Captain Cook Drive, Kurnell NSW 2231. Ph 1800 225 311. TM Trademark. The Health Agency NUT001:04/04.
If your patients have lost weight and / or are eating poorly they may be at risk
of malnutrition i.e. score 2 or more
1. Refer to Malnutrition Action Flowchart and / or refer to
Dietitian for full assessment and intervention
2. Document
3. Weigh patients on admission and:
(a) weekly (acute)
(b) monthly (long-term care)
4. Rescreen patients:
(a) weekly (acute)
(b) monthly (long-term care)
Small weight losses weekly add up to significant weight loss
and malnutrition
Note: Overweight / obese patients who have unexplained weight loss and
illness can become protein depleted / malnourished too
Malnutrition Screening Tool
Applies to
the last
6 months
Of weight loss
and appetite
If unsure, ask
if they suspect
they have
lost weight
e.g. clothes
are looser
For example,
less than
of usual intake
May also be
eating poorly
due to chewing
and swallowing
Malnutrition occurs
in approximately
30-35% of acute
and 40-45%
of residential
patients in
Developed by Merrilyn Banks, APD with assistance from Abbott
The Makers of Ensure

NUT001 14/5/04 10:23 AM Page 1