This research aimed to study the correlation between a Nutrition Alert Form (NAF) and a Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) in evaluating the nutritional status of the elderly and evaluated the relation between NAF, MNA and biochemical nutrition data.
A cross sectional study was conducted in 153 outpatient and inpatient elder at Bangkok Hospital from February to September 2015. The nutrition status of participants was screened by a longevity nurse with MNA and NAF and serum pre-albumin was collected. After that, the dietitian evaluated the nutrition assessment and recalled dietary habit, and the reason of weight change. Statistical analysis of this study used SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) version 19.0. Kappa index to analyze the agreement between NAF and MNA. The correlation was analyzed by Spearman’s correlation coefficient.
The kappa index between the NAF and the MNA (standard) which was moderate: K 0.563 with a sensitivity of 80.0% and a specificity of 91.3 %. The data show the risky level of NAF had a positive correlation with pre-albumin, total lymphocyte count and the risk level of MNA at 0.428, 0.302, 0.583, respectively (p < 0.01).
A NAF can be applied to screen nutritional status in the elderly because of a moderate agreement between the NAF and MNA and serum pre-albumin, and this is a less time-consuming tool and can be applied in the elderly without body weight data. However, the NAF screening did not focus on age increase. For accurate screening in the elderly using the NAF, increasing age should be assessed as well