This study aims to explore limitations with the Malnutrition Screening Tool in identifying malnutrition risk, in a cohort of 3,033 adult Australian medical and surgical hospital inpatients. Seventy-two percent of patients were screened; illness and medical care limited access to others. Malnutrition risk (16.5%; n = 501) was found in all age groups with a trend to higher risk in medical wards; 10% (n = 300) of patients with communication barriers were excluded. Systematic screening increased dietitians’ referrals by 39%. Further research is required to enable screening of all patients, including those with communication issues with an easy to use valid tool.
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