Nutritional Assessment of Adult Cancer Patients admitted at the Philippine General Hospital using the Scored Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment Tool (PG-SGA)

Carmela Isabel A. Caballero,1 Marie Carmela M. Lapitan1,2 and Brian S. Buckley1

1Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
2National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila

Objectives. Malnutrition is common among cancer patients. The aim of this study was to determine the nutritional status of preoperative cancer patients upon admission at a tertiary hospital in the Philippines. It also aimed to identify common symptoms with adverse impact on nutrition and to correlate the nutritional status to the length of hospital stay and development of post-operative complications.

Methods. A hospital-based prospective cohort study design was conducted among pre-operative adult cancer patients admitted from September to December 2010. Nutritional status assessment was done using the Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) tool and correlation to their symptoms, length of hospital stay, and post-operative complications were determined using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-Square tests.

Result. A total of 103 patients were included for the study amongst whom prevalence of malnutrition was 83%. Symptoms that were significantly associated with severity of malnutrition were early satiety, lack of appetite and alteration in taste perception. Poor nutritional status was associated with increased mean length of hospital stay: 7.5, 14.1 and 15.1 days for well-nourished, moderately malnourished and severely malnourished, respectively (p=0.048).

Conclusion. Using the Scored PG-SGA tool, this study observed a correlation between severity of nutritional status and increased length of hospital stay among cancer patients. Presence of nutritional impact symptoms such as lack of appetite, early satiety, and alteration of taste perception correlated with the degree of malnutrition on admission.

Recommendations. Formal objective assessment of the nutritional status of cancer patients should be done. Addressing the symptoms of lack of appetite, early satiety, and alteration of taste perception should be prioritized to prevent deterioration in nutrition.

Key Words: Scored PG-SGA, nutritional status assessment, cancer malnutrition