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Identify Undernutrition Using ‘MUST’

Nutritional screening is recommended to identify people at risk of undernutrition.

Focus on Undernutrition recommended the ‘MUST’ (‘Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool’) developed by BAPEN (British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition).

Focus on Undernutrition has adapted the layout of ‘MUST’ to incorporate a core care plan and document the results of the nutritional screening. The Focus on Undernutrition layout of ‘MUST’ has been endorsed by BAPEN and through independent research has been identified to be more accurate and preferred by staff compared to using original ‘MUST’.

The Focus layout of ‘MUST’ is reproduced with the kind permission of BAPEN.

‘MUST’ is very simple and quick to complete. It is based on:

  • What is the individual’s present weight?
  • How tall is the individual?
  • What was the individual’s weight in the past 3-6 months (if unknown what is their normal weight?)
  • Is the individual acutely ill and there has been or is likely to be no nutritional intake for more than 5 days?

From this information the individual can then be identified as low, moderate or high risk of undernutrition using ‘MUST’ and appropriate treatment can be recommended.

The ‘MUST’ video below explains how to determine a person’s risk of undernutrition using the Focus on Undernutrition layout of the ‘MUST’ nutritional screening tool.

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