The 'MUST' Explanatory Booklet

The ‘MUST’ Explanatory Booklet has been designed to explain the need for nutritional screening and how to undertake screening using the ‘Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool’ (‘MUST’). It can also be used for training purposes. Download here

Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (summary)


ESPEN Guidelines for Nutrition Screening 2002

About 30% of all patients in hospital are undernourished. A large part of these patients are undernourished when admitted to hospital and in the majority of these, undernutrition develops further while in hospital (1). This can be prevented if special attention

is paid to their nutritional care. Other features of the patient’s primary disease are screened routinely and treated (e.g. dehydration, blood pressure, fever), and it is unacceptable that nutritional problems causing significant clinical risk are not identified. Neglect is also

beginning to have medico-legal consequences, since an increasing number of cases of nutritional neglect are being brought to the courts. There is every reason, therefore, for hospitals and healthcare organizations to adopt a minimum set of standards in this area.


However, the lack of a widely accepted screening system which will detect patients who might benefit clinically from nutritional support is commonly seen as a major limiting factor to improvement. It is the purpose of this document to give simple guidelines as to how undernutrition, or risk for development of undernutrition, can be detected, by proposing a set of standards which are practicable for general use in patients and clients within present healthcare resources.

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The NUTRIC Score is designed to quantify the risk of critically ill patients developing adverse events that may be modified by aggressive nutrition therapy. The score, of 1-10, is based on 6 variables that are explained here.


The MNA® is a validated nutrition screening and assessment tool that can identify geriatric patients age 65 and above who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. The MNA® was developed nearly 20 years ago and is the most well validated nutrition screening tool for the elderly. Originally comprised of 18 questions, the current MNA® now consists of 6 questions and streamlines the screening process. The current MNA® retains the validity and accuracy of the original MNA® in identifying older adults who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. The revised MNA® Short Form makes the link to intervention easier and quicker and is now the preferred form of the MNA® for clinical use.

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Mini Nutritional Assessment (form)