Screening for Undernutrition in Geriatric Practice: Developing the Short-Form Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA-SF)

Journals of Gerontology. 2001 Jun; 56(6):M366-72. doi: 10.1093/gerona/56.6.m366.
Rubenstein, L. Z., Harker, J. O., Salvà, A., Guigoz, Y., & Vellas, B.


Background: The Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA) is a validated assessment instrument for nutritional problems, but its length limits its usefulness for screening. We sought to develop a screening version of this instrument, the MNA-SF, that retains good diagnostic accuracy.

Methods: We reanalyzed data from France that were used to develop the original MNA and combined these with data collected in Spain and New MEXICO: Of the 881 subjects with complete MNA data, 151 were from France, 400 were from Spain, and 330 were from New MEXICO: Independent ratings of clinical nutritional status were available for 142 of the French subjects. Overall, 73.8% were community dwelling, and mean age was 76.4 years. Items were chosen for the MNA-SF on the basis of item correlation with the total MNA score and with clinical nutritional status, internal consistency, reliability, completeness, and ease of administration.

Results: After testing multiple versions, we identified an optimal six-item MNA-SF total score ranging from 0 to 14. The cut-point score for MNA-SF was calculated using clinical nutritional status as the gold standard (n = 142) and using the total MNA score (n = 881). The MNA-SF was strongly correlated with the total MNA score (r = 0.945). Using an MNA-SF score of > or = 11 as normal, sensitivity was 97.9%, specificity was 100%, and diagnostic accuracy was 98.7% for predicting undernutrition.

Conclusions: The MNA-SF can identify persons with undernutrition and can be used in a two-step screening process in which persons, identified as "at risk" on the MNA-SF, would receive additional assessment to confirm the diagnosis and plan interventions.

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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