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What it measures:

The MNA is a 6-item screening tool used to identify risk of malnutrition among older adults (aged 65+).1

Target Population:

Older adults in a hospital, facility, or community setting.1 Nutrition/frailty assessment also is recommended before older adults have ambulatory surgery.3

This assessment and its user guide is available in multiple languages.1


  • The original Mini Nutritional Assessment, an 18-item questionnaire, is now referred to as the "full MNA" 
  • The revised MNA-SF (short form) is now called "MNA." This is the version recommended for clinical use1 and it offers the option to use a calf circumference measurement as a substitute for BMI if BMI is not available.1,2

Taskforce Recommendations:

An APTA position statement supports collaboration between physical therapists and registered dieticians to promote the health and well-being of society.

Clinical Insights:

MNA is a fast and easy-to-use tool. A cutoff score of <11 indicates potential malnutrition and frailty. Referral to an appropriate health care professional for further evaluation may be warranted. A cutoff score of <13 may suggest a prefrail condition, meaning the patient has a high risk of progressing to frailty.

Sufficient reliable information about the patient should be accessible (through the patient, caregiver, or medical record) to receive the most accurate results. Administering MNA via an interview has an advantage over self-reporting, because it allows for questions and misunderstandings to be clarified.4

Physical therapists should review scope of practice before giving nutrition advice to patients; some states do not allow any person except a registered dietician to do so.

ICF Domains:

Activities and Participation5

ICF Categories:

Self care: Managing diet and fitness (db5701)5

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