Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 1152–1156 | Cite as

Validity of the malnutrition screening tool as an effective predictor of nutritional risk in oncology outpatients receiving chemotherapy

  • Elisabeth IsenringEmail author
  • Giordana Cross
  • Lynne Daniels
  • Elizabeth Kellett
  • Bogda Koczwara
Short Communication


Goals of work

To determine the relative validity of the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) compared with a full nutrition assessment by the scored Patient Generated-Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) and to assess MST inter-rater reliability in patients receiving chemotherapy.

Patients and methods

An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted at an Australian public hospital in 50 oncology outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Inter-rater reliability was assessed in a subsample of 20 patients.

Main results

According to PG-SGA global rating, the prevalence of malnutrition was 26%. The MST was a strong predictor of nutritional risk relative to the PG-SGA (100% sensitivity, 92% specificity, 0.8 positive predictive value, 1.0 negative predictive value). MST inter-rater reliability was acceptable with agreement by administration staff/nursing staff/patient and the dietitian in 18/20 cases (kappa=0.83; p0.001).


The MST has acceptable relative validity, inter-rater reliability, sensitivity, and specificity to identify chemotherapy outpatients at risk of malnutrition and, hence, is an acceptable nutrition screening tool in this patient population.


Dietetics Nutrition screening Oncology Cancer Chemotherapy 



We would like to thank Silvia Hui, Kanita Kunaratnam, Kellie Wright, and Lydia Yuen for assisting with data collection as part of the requirements for the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Isenring
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Giordana Cross
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lynne Daniels
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Kellett
    • 2
  • Bogda Koczwara
    • 2
  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Flinders Medical CentreAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.NHMRC Training Fellowship App. ID No. 324777, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, F1 Medical Flats, School of MedicineFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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