A Nutritional Assessment can be defined as: a structured way to establish the nutritional status and energy requirements by objective measurements and whereby, accompanied by objective parameters and in relation to specific disease indications, an adequate (nutritional) treatment can be developed for the patient. All this happens preferably in a multidisciplinary setting.
The definition of nutritional status is: the condition of the body as a result of the intake, absorption and use of nutrition, as well as the influence of disease-related factors.
How to measure?
There is no golden standard for identifying malnourished patients or patients at risk. Therefore, multiple parameters are used to constitute a representation of the nutritional status of a patient.
- Timely identification of malnourished patients or patients at risk, so that the dietician can start her nutritional treatment as soon as possible;
- To determine the quantity of malnutrition, so an adequate assessment of the individual nutritional need is possible
- Çollecting data for diagnostic purposes;
- Monitoring changes in the nutritional status during a nutritional intervention;
- Collecting data for scientific research;
- Monitoring the patient's nutritional status during hospitalisation;
- Improving the Nutritional Assessment method.
A Nutritional Assessment can be used for patients at risk for malnutrition and patients in whom it can contribute to determination of the diagnosis.
Flowchart Nutritional Assessment
In Maastricht UMC+ a full Nutritional Assessment is done according to a flowchart. Since a full Nutritional Assessment provides complete information about a patient's nutritional status, parts of the flowchart can be used in standard patient care.