Identifying and Managing Malnutrition, Frailty and Sarcopenia in the Community: A Narrative Review

Nutrients. 2021 Jul 5;13(7):2316. doi: 10.3390/nu13072316.
Roberts, S., Collins, P., & Rattray, M.


Malnutrition, frailty and sarcopenia are becoming increasingly prevalent among community-dwelling older adults; yet are often unidentified and untreated in community settings. There is an urgent need for community-based healthcare professionals (HCPs) from all disciplines, including medicine, nursing and allied health, to be aware of, and to be able to recognise and appropriately manage these conditions. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of malnutrition, frailty and sarcopenia in the community, including their definitions, prevalence, impacts and causes/risk factors; and guidance on how these conditions may be identified and managed by HCPs in the community. A detailed description of the care process, including screening and referral, assessment and diagnosis, intervention, and monitoring and evaluation, relevant to the community context, is also provided. Further research exploring the barriers/enablers to delivering high-quality nutrition care to older community-dwelling adults who are malnourished, frail or sarcopenic is recommended, to inform the development of specific guidance for HCPs in identifying and managing these conditions in the community.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism