Numerous studies have demonstrated a high incidence of undernutrition in hospital and care home patients. The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) has developed the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) which has been extensively validated and can be used to detect risk of malnutrition.
MUST was developed and validated in 2003 and has been promoted by BAPEN as a nutrition screening tool.
It is now recommended that all hospital and care facility patients in the UK should be screened for malnutrition within 48 hours of admission and that a nutrition care plan (part of the tool) is put into action as a result.
Screening should be repeated at weekly intervals in the acute sector and monthly in the chronic care setting.
MUST is now the most extensively used nutrition screening tool in the UK.
Weekes CE, Elia M, Emery PW. The development, validation and reliability of a nutrition screening tool based on the recommendations of the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Clinical Nutrition 2004; 23: 1104-12.
Stratton RJ, Hackston A, Longmore D, Dixon R, Price S, Stroud M, King C, Elia M. Malnutrition in hospital patinets: prevalence, concurrent validity and ease of use of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) for adults. British Journal of Nutrition2004; 92:799-808.