Patient-generated subjective global assessment: innovation from paper to digital app

Faith D. Ottery, Elizabeth Isenring, Suzanne Kasenic, Susan P. DeBolt, Martine Sealy, Harriët Jager-Wittenaar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

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Purpose: The Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), including the PG-SGA Short Form (SF, aka ‘abridged’), was originally developed in the mid 1990’s as a scored, patient self-report, paperbased instrument and has been widely validated. The PG-SGA (SF) has been used for screening, assessment and monitoring, triageing for multimodal intervention and for evaluation of clinical and health economic outcomes. There have been ad hoc translations, often with permission of the originator (FDO) but broad international use requires consistent, medically accurate, and certified translations. Although the PG-SGA (or SF) is known to be quick and easy, current advances in technology could further improve and facilitate quick and easy use of global patient screening and assessment, standardized scoring algorithms, limiting inter-observer variability, and global collaboration and communication. We aimed to develop a user friendly, cross-culturally validated, multilingual digital app and resources to support the clinical and research applications of the PG-SGA (SF) and Pt-Global app in the context of a global centralized database and research consortium. Methods: After completion of a Dutch PG-SGA cross-cultural adaptation project, a digital app based on the English and Dutch PG-SGA was developed. Steps included: 1) development and testing of standardized scoring and decision-making algorithms based on the validated PG-SGA scoring system; 2) compatibility with iOS, Android and WindowsPhone platforms; 3) development and pilot testing of prototype by an international test panel (n=35; professionals testing the app on patients as part of routine care process, researchers, and lay persons) from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and USA, evaluating the app on lay-out, user friendliness, relevance and time of completion; 4) improvement based on input; 5) launch of app and supportive website at on 12 Jun 2014, including complimentary introductory use; 5) international education activities; 6) digital presence through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube; 7) launch of web-based version on 15 September 2014. Results: 15 professionals (Pros; 11 dietitians, 1 doctor, 1 physiotherapist) and 2 lay persons participated in the pilot testing. Included settings were: 9 hospitals, 4 cancer centers, 2 nursing homes, 3 research. 8/15 had experience with the PG-SGA, 7/15 PG-SGA were naïve. 5 Pros tested on 1-5 patients, and 9 on 6-10 patients. 88% rated layout (very) good with feedback: calm, professional, clear, intuitive, easy; 88% rated good for user friendliness. 75% rated flow/user interface (very) good. In 88% Patient screens were completed by Pros. Reported time to complete Patient screens was: 65% in 0-5 minutes, 29% in 5-10 min; 6% (n=1) >10 minutes. Interestingly, patients started completing the app spontaneously. Some issues with concerns about touch screen were expressed. 87% completed the professional section in.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventClinical Nutrition Week 2015 - Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, Long Beach, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Feb 201517 Feb 2015


ConferenceClinical Nutrition Week 2015
Abbreviated titleCNW15
CityLong Beach


  • malnutrition
  • undernutrition
  • monitoring
  • patients
  • apps


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