Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment: Applicability in children and adolescents with malignant tumors

Kellen Benites Nemetz, Laura de Carvalho Bastos Domingues, Lauro José Gregianin, Luciane Beitler da Cruz


Introduction: This study investigated the applicability of the Subjective Global Nutritional
Assessment (SGNA) tool to evaluate the nutritional status of pediatric cancer patients.
Methods: This was a multicenter, observational cohort study of infants, children,
and adolescents diagnosed with malignant tumors. Participants were evaluated at the
moment they were diagnosed with a malignant tumor (EV1) and at the third month
of treatment (EV2). Objective data were collected and the SGNA questionnaire was
applied. Correlation between the methods was performed using the Kendall test.
Results: We evaluated 216 patients at EV1 and 172 patients at EV2. During EV1,
7% of patients presented with some degree of malnutrition, according to objective
measures, and 35.7% according to the SGNA. During EV2, they presented 6.4% and
26.8%, respectively. The SGNA showed ability to diagnose more malnutrition than
objective indicators and the agreement found between both methods was moderate
and weak. We observed a significant correlation between the SGNA and the nutritional
indicators (p = <0.002), thus proving its efficacy in assessing nutritional status.
Conclusion: The SGNA was applicable for evaluating the nutritional status of children
and adolescents diagnosed with malignant tumors, and effective in tracking malnutrition
prevalence when compared to objective nutritional assessment methods.


Tumor; pediatrics; nutritional status; nutritional assessment

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