Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment of nutritional status in pediatric patients with recent cancer diagnosis

Mayra Jezabel Vázquez de la Torre, Katja Stein, Edgar Manuel Vásquez Garibay, Miguel Roberto Kumazawa Ichikawa, Rogelio Troyo Sanromán, Alicia Guadalupe Salcedo Flores, Fernando Antonio Sánchez Zubieta


Background: The subjective global assessment (SGA) is a simple, sensitive tool used to identify nutritional risk. It is widely used in the adult population, but there is little evidence on its effectiveness in children with cancer.

Objective: This cross-sectional study was undertaken to demonstrate significant correlation between a simplified version of the Patient-Generated SGA (PG-SGA) and anthropometric assessment to identify nutritional status in children recently diagnosed with cancer.

Methods: The nutritional status of 70 pediatric cancer patients was assessed with the PG-SGA and anthropometric measurements. The relation between the assessments was tested with ANOVA, independent samples t-test, Kappa statistic, and non-parametric Spearman and Kendall correlation coefficient. The PG-SGA divided the patients into four groups: well nourished, mildly, moderately and severely malnourished.

Results: The prevalence of malnutrition according to the PG-SGA was 21.4%. The correlations (r ≥ 0.300, p < 0.001) and the concordance (k ≥ 0.327, p < 0.001) between the PG-SGA and anthropometric indicators were moderate and significant.

Conclusions: The results indicate that the PG-SGA is a valid tool for assessing nutritional status in hospitalized children recently diagnosed with cancer. It is important to emphasize that the subjective assessment does not detect growth retardation, overweight or obesity.

Palabras clave

nutritional status; children; cancer; Patient-generated subjective global assessment; anthropometry.

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