Nursing Minimum Data Sets for documenting nutritional care for adults in primary healthcare: a scoping review

Sasja Jul Håkonsen, Preben Ulrich Pedersen, Merete Bjerrum, Ann Bygholm, Micah D J Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To identify all published nutritional screening instruments that have been validated in the adult population in primary healthcare settings and to report on their psychometric validity.

INTRODUCTION: Within health care, there is an urgent need for the systematic collection of nursing care data in order to make visible what nurses do and to facilitate comparison, quality assurance, management, research and funding of nursing care. To be effective, nursing records should accurately and comprehensively document all required information to support safe and high quality care of patients. However, this process of documentation has been criticized from many perspectives as being highly inadequate. A Nursing Minimum Data Set within the nutritional area in primary health care could therefore be beneficial in order to support nurses in their daily documentation and observation of patients.

INCLUSION CRITERIA: The review considered studies that included adults aged over 18 years of any gender, culture, diagnosis and ethnicity, as well as nutritional experts, patients and their relatives. The concepts of interest were: the nature and content of any nutritional screening tools validated (regardless of the type of validation) in the adult population in primary healthcare; and the views and opinions of eligible participants regarding the appropriateness of nutritional assessment were the concept of interest. Studies included must have been conducted in primary healthcare settings, both within home care and nursing home facilities.

METHODS: This scoping review used a two-step approach as a preliminary step to the subsequent development of a Nursing Minimum Data Set within the nutritional area in primary healthcare: i) a systematic literature search of existing nutritional screening tools validated in primary health care; and ii) a systematic literature search on nutritional experts opinions on the assessment of nutritional nursing care of adults in primary healthcare as well as the views of patients and their relatives. Multiple databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, Swemed+, MedNar, CDC, MEDION, Health Technology Assessment Database, TRIP database, NTIS, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Google Scholar, Current Contents) were searched from their inception to September 2016.

RESULTS: The results from the studies were extracted using pre-developed extraction tools to all three questions, and have been presented narratively and by using figures to support the text. Twenty-nine nutritional screening tools that were validated within a primary care setting, and two documents on consensus statements regarding expert opinion were identified. No studies on the patients or relatives views were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: The nutritional screening instruments have solely been validated in an over-55 population. Construct validity was the type of validation most frequently used in the validation process covering a total of 25 of the 29 tools. Two studies were identified in relation to the third review question. These two documents are both consensus statement documents developed by experts within the geriatric and nutritional care field. Overall, experts find it appropriate to: i) conduct a comprehensive geriatric assessment, ii) use a validated nutritional screening instrument, and iii) conduct a history and clinical diagnosis, physical examination and dietary assessment when assessing primarily the elderly's nutritional status in primary health care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJBI Database of Systematic Reviews & Implementation Reports
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)117-139
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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