Purpose: In the oncology population where malnutrition prevalence is high, more descriptive screening tools can provide further information to assist triaging and capture acute change. The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment Short Form (PG-SGA SF) is a component of a nutritional assessment tool which could be used for descriptive nutrition screening. The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis of nutrition screening and assessment data to identify the most relevant information contributing to the PG-SGA SF to identify malnutrition risk with high sensitivity and specificity.
Methods: This was an observational, cross-sectional study of 300 consecutive adult patients receiving ambulatory anti-cancer treatment at an Australian tertiary hospital. Anthropometric and patient descriptive data were collected. The scored PG-SGA generated a score for nutritional risk (PG-SGA SF) and a global rating for nutrition status. Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) were generated to determine optimal cut-off scores for combinations of the PG-SGA SF boxes with the greatest sensitivity and specificity for predicting malnutrition according to scored PG-SGA global rating.
Results: The additive scores of boxes 1–3 had the highest sensitivity (90.2 %) while maintaining satisfactory specificity (67.5 %) and demonstrating high diagnostic value (AUC = 0.85, 95 % CI = 0.81–0.89). The inclusion of box 4 (PG-SGA SF) did not add further value as a screening tool (AUC = 0.85, 95 % CI = 0.80–0.89; sensitivity 80.4 %; specificity 72.3 %).
Conclusions: The validity of the PG-SGA SF in chemotherapy outpatients was confirmed. The present study however demonstrated that the functional capacity question (box 4) does not improve the overall discriminatory value of the PG-SGA SF.