From the Academy Evidence Analysis Center| Volume 121, ISSUE 10, P2108-2140.e6, October 2021

Nutrition Assessment and Interventions for the Prevention and Treatment of Malnutrition in Older Adults: An Evidence Analysis Center Scoping Review

Published:October 21, 2020DOI:


      Older adults living in the community or long-term residence such as a nursing home are at increased risk for malnutrition due to factors such as depression and isolation. The purpose of this scoping review is to identify the best available research that evaluates the validity and reliability of nutrition assessment tools, and the effectiveness of nutrition interventions to prevent or treat malnutrition among older adults. A literature search was conducted in Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane Central databases to identify clinical trials, published in the English language, evaluating assessment and intervention methods aimed to treat or prevent malnutrition among older adults living in the community or their long-term residence such as nursing homes. Articles were screened by 2 reviewers, then data were extracted and narratively synthesized. The literature search retrieved 20,937 articles and 197 articles were included in narrative synthesis. A total of 73 assessment articles were identified, 36 of which were validity and reliability trials. A total of 122 intervention articles were identified, the majority of which were randomized controlled trials. A few of the most commonly evaluated interventions were oral nutrition supplements, medical nutrition therapy, fortification and enrichment, and nutrition education. Several systematic reviews were identified, however, that did not meet the criteria of this review. There is a need to conduct systematic reviews for nutrition assessment and intervention trials to guide development of evidence-based nutrition practice recommendations for older adults living in the community or their long-term residence.
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      L. Moloney is a nutrition researcher, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Evidence Analysis Center, Chicago, IL.


      B. Jarrett is a postdoctoral fellow, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.