Paediatric Nutrition Screening Tool

The Paediatric Nutrition Screening Tool (PNST), developed by Children’s Health Queensland, aims to identify hospital inpatients at nutritional risk. The tool consists of four simple questions which can be completed by nurses, parents or nutrition assistants, to assist in the clinical diagnosis of patients up to 16 years.

On completion, if two of the four questions leads to an affirmative response, the patient will then be referred to a health professional for an in depth nutritional assessment.

The Nutrition Education Materials Online (NEMO) website provides further information and resources for treating paediatric malnutrition.

A 2014 study on malnutrition, obesity and nutritional risk of Australian paediatric patients found that 15 per cent of Australian paediatric inpatients are malnourished and five-and-a-half per cent experience severe malnutrition’. Children who are malnourished are also at an increased risk of infection, poor growth and development, longer hospital stays and increased mortality. Through the early detection and treatment of malnutrition, the PNST aims to improve the health outcomes for these children.

The Paediatric Nutrition Screening Tool:

  • is designed to be used on admission for all paediatric inpatients
  • can be incorporated into routine admission or clinical care documentation
  • contains easy to understand questions which require minimal printing
  • takes a small amount of time to complete.

The tool has also been approved for paediatric patients in tertiary and regional hospitals and is also validated against the paediatric Subjective Global Nutritional Assessment and anthropometry.

Using the tool

Download the Paediatric Nutrition Screening Tool

Paediatric Nutrition Screening Tool instructions

Read the validation reseach for the PNST

Contact details

Dietetics and Food Services
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
501 Stanley Street
South Brisbane  Qld 4101

t: 07 3068 5970

e: LCCH-DIET@health.qld.gov.au