Objective: To screen the nutritional status and determine the prevalence of malnutrition (MN) or MN risk among newly diagnosed and follow-up patients in different outpatient speciality clinics across Turkey.

Methods: A total of 3521 patients from 52 outpatient speciality clinics across Turkiye were included in this cross-sectional study. MN risk and/or MN were evaluated using Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS 2002) and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) tools. Time of diagnosis (new admissions vs. follow-up patients) was compared with the nutritional status.

Results: Overall, 652 (18.7%) of 3492 patients were at risk of MN according to NRS 2002, while 381 (40.9%) of 931 geriatric patients assessed by MNA were either malnourished (scores <17, 14.7%) or at risk of MN (scores 17-23.5, 26.2%). MN risk was more prevalent in medical oncology patients (44.1%), as well as in new vs. follow-up patients (23.1% vs. 19.0%, P = .007), particularly in radiation oncology (30.5% vs. 15.7%, respectively), medical oncology (47.2% vs. 41.6%, respectively) and geriatric (69.6% vs. 46.5%) clinics. In geriatric outpatient clinics, NRS 2002 showed MN risk in 35.3% of the patients those were at MN risk according to MNA, which was only 45.9% for those with MN (MNA score lower than 17).

Conclusion: In conclusion, this screening study in the outpatient setting across different clinical specialities revealed poor nutritional status in 1 out of every 5 patients overall, and nearly 1 out of 2 patients admitted to medical oncology and geriatrics clinics, respectively. In geriatric patients, NRS 2002 seems to underestimate MN risk compared to MNA. Given the higher MN risk prevalence in cancer and geriatric patients, it is important to screen nutritional status in those patients, especially during the first admission.

Keywords: Malnutrition, nutritional assessment, outpatient care, medical oncology, radiation oncology