Publication Date

Fall 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging


Colette LaSalle


cancer, malnutrition, nutrition screening, screening instrument

Subject Areas

Nutrition; Oncology


Malnutrition is associated with negative health consequences in the vulnerable cancer population, making it imperative for an efficient interdisciplinary approach to conduct nutritional screening using an appropriate scale. For the present study, a comparison between an existing malnutrition risk-screening questionnaire (EMR-SQ) and a comprehensive screening questionnaire (CMR-SQ) was performed on 37 cancer patients. The first stage of data collection required the nurses to electronically complete the EMR-SQ. In the second stage, the same patients’ data were assessed using the CMR-SQ, developed by the authors based on the guidelines of the PG-SGA and A.S.P.E.N. The CMR-SQ identified 32.4% at low, 37.8% at moderate and 29.7% at high risk of developing malnutrition compared to 81.1% at low risk of developing malnutrition with less than 20% identified at a moderate or severe risk by the EMR-SQ. The CMR-SQ resulted in identifying a greater number of people at risk of developing malnutrition in comparison to the EMR-SQ currently being used at Good Samaritan Hospital’s oncology unit (p < 0.0001). The combined distribution pattern of 70% for all patients at moderate and high risk of developing malnutrition identified by the CMR-SQ is consistent with what is reported in the literature, indicating the prevalence of malnutrition is between 40 and 80% of the cancer patients in hospitals. The CMR-SQ may assist in time sensitive referrals of patients with a moderate and high risk of developing malnutrition for nutritional interventions to the registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN).