This systematic review aimed to verify the available scientific evidence on the clinical performance and diagnostic accuracy of nutritional screening tools in hospitalized pediatric patients.
A search was performed in the Medline (National Library of Medicine United States), LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences), PubMed (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health), in the SCIELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), through CAPES portal (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), bases Scopus e Web of Science. The descriptors used in accordance with the Descriptors in Health Sciences (DeCS)/Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list were “malnutrition”, “screening”, and “pediatrics”, as well as the equivalent words in Portuguese.
Summary of the findings:
The authors identified 270 articles published between 2004 and 2014. After applying the selection criteria, 35 were analyzed in full and eight articles were included in the systematic review. We evaluated the methodological quality of the studies using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS). Five nutritional screening tools in pediatrics were identified. Among these, the Screening Tool for the Assessment of Malnutrition in Pediatrics (STAMP) showed high sensitivity, almost perfect inter-rater agreement and between the screening and the reference standard; the Screening Tool Risk on Nutritional Status and Growth (STRONGkids) showed high sensitivity, lower percentage of specificity, substantial intra-rater agreement, and ease of use in clinical practice.
The studies included in this systematic review showed good performance of the nutritional screening tools in pediatrics, especially STRONGkids and STAMP. The authors emphasize the need to perform for more studies in this area. Only one tool was translated and adapted to the Brazilian pediatric population, and it is essential to carry out studies of tool adaptation and validation for this population.
Screening; Malnutrition; Pediatrics; Systematic review