The A.S.P.E.N./Academy Malnutrition Diagnostic Criteria: Awareness, Implementation and Validation
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Malnutrition has been an important issue for A.S.P.E.N. since the early 1980's. In 1996, through its own efforts and those of other nutrition organizations, the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Hospitals added the standard that hospitals must perform nutrition screening within 24 hours of patient admission. In 2009, malnutrition became a major focus of A.S.P.E.N.'s strategic work. Recognizing the need to standardize the criteria for diagnosing malnutrition, A.S.P.E.N. collaboratively participated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to develop a consensus statement on recommended characteristics for the identification of adult and pediatric malnutrition (2012/2015). For adults, two or more of these characteristics are used to diagnose severe or moderate malnutrition: reduced nutrient intake, unintended weight loss, loss of muscle, loss of subcutaneous fat, fluid accumulation and diminished hand grip strength. For pediatric patients, weight/height, mid-upper arm circumference and body mass index z scores, weight changes and/or inadequate nutrient intake are used for a malnutrition diagnosis. Nutrition screening effectiveness is well documented however it is gaps in identifying and addressing the malnourished patient that often occur. In 2015, A.S.P.E.N. revised its adult and pediatric "nutrition care pathways" to promote best practice in malnutrition care. Malnutrition prevalence has varied over the decades ranging from 25% - 54%.; this variability is attributed to a range of nutrition assessment methodologies utilized. There is a clear need to utilize a consistent method for assessing malnutrition prevalence in the United States. A.S.P.E.N. has created an annual Malnutrition Awareness Week to bring attention to the malnutrition issue.
Ainsley Malone, MS, RD,LD, CNSC, FAND, FASPEN
Dietitian Member, Nutrition Support Team
Mt. Carmel West Hospital
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Clinical Practice Specialist
Ainsley Malone is a Dietitian member of the Nutrition Support Team at Mt. Carmel West Hospital Columbus, Ohio, USA where she is involved in the management of patients requiring enteral and parenteral nutrition. In addition, Ms. Malone serves as a Clinical Practice Specialist to the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). Ainsley has provided extensive leadership addressing hospital malnutrition in the United States for the past 10 years. She served as A.S.P.E.N.'s representative to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Malnutrition Workgroup whose charge was to develop a consensus based malnutrition definition. Ainsley has been involved in A.S.P.E.N.'s malnutrition strategic efforts since 2009 by serving as Co-Chair of the Malnutrition Task Force and through continued leadership during her tenure on the Board of Directors. Ainsley continues to provide leadership toward malnutrition activities in her current A.S.P.E.N. position via research, quality and advocacy efforts.
***Original Source: "2016 CNS Annual Conference", Friday May 6, 2016
Last Updated: May 30, 2016
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