Self-completion of the patient-generated subjective global assessment short form is feasible and is associated with increased awareness on malnutrition risk in patients with head and neck cancer

Harriët Jager-Wittenaar (First author), Hester de Bats, Bertine Welink-Lamberts, Dorienke Gort-van Dijk, Bernard van der Laan, Faith D. Ottery, Jan Roodenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: We aimed to assess feasibility of self-completion of the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment Short Form (PG-SGA SF) by head and neck cancer patients, and to assess self-reported increased awareness regarding malnutrition risk after self-completion. METHODS: Participants were randomized to complete the PG-SGA SF by paper or app. Feasibility was assessed by time needed to complete the PG-SGA SF, perceived difficulty, and help needed during completion. Participants were asked if they knew what malnutrition was (yes/no) and if they could define "malnutrition." They were also asked 9 questions on whether they perceived increased awareness of malnutrition risk after having completed the PG-SGA SF and 2 on their intention to change lifestyle habits. RESULTS: Of all participants (n = 59; 65.9 +/- 12.6 years; 73% male), 55% completed the PG-SGA SF paper version and 46% the Pt-Global app. Median time needed for self-completion of the PG-SGA SF was 2 minutes 41 seconds (interquartile range: 1 minute 49 seconds-3 minutes 50 seconds). Forty-eight percent needed help with completion, indicating acceptable feasibility. Participants who completed the Pt-Global app needed help significantly more often (66%; 21/32) than those who completed the PG-SGA SF paper version (26%; 7/27) (P = 0.005). All difficulty scores were excellent. For 7/9 questions on malnutrition risk awareness, >50% of the participants answered positively. CONCLUSION: The results of this study show that self-completion of the PG-SGA SF by head and neck cancer patients is feasible and that awareness regarding malnutrition risk may increase after completing the PG-SGA SF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-362
JournalNutrition in clinical practice
Issue number2
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019



  • self-completion
  • head and neck cancer
  • malnutrition
  • awareness
  • patients

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