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“Subjective Global Assessment is a simple bedside method of assessing the risk of malnutrition and identifying those who would benefit from nutritional support. Its validity for this purpose has been demonstrated in a variety of conditions including surgical patients, those with cancer, on renal dialysis and in the ICU.”

Dr. Khursheed Jeejeebhoy

Protein calorie malnutrition increases patient morbidity and mortality risk. For this reason, assessment of nutritional status is an important component of good medical care. However, assessing patient nutritional status is difficult.

Subjective Global Assessment, or SGA, is a proven nutritional assessment tool that has been found to be highly predictive of nutrition-associated complications. SGA fulfills the requirements of a desirable system of nutritional assessment by:

  • Identifying malnutrition
  • Distinguishing malnutrition from a disease state
  • Predicting outcome
  • Identifying patients in whom nutritional therapy can alter outcome

Traditionally, nutritional assessment and risk has been based on a snapshot of Body Mass Index (BMI), serum proteins, weight, or the percentage change in food intake. However, a snapshot does not predict the future progression of nutrition deterioration which determines the likelihood of developing complications. Many people cannot accurately remember weight, height and exact dietary intake. SGA overcomes these limitations by evaluating a dimensionless progression of factors which can alter nutritional status. Thus it does not rely on patient memory or physical parameters which could be affected by non-nutritional factors to predict the future progression of nutritional status.

Subjective Global Assessment in the Literature

Subjective Global Assessment DVD

An instructional DVD has been developed to teach health professionals this nutritional status assessment technique. Order the Subjective Global Assessment DVD directly from this website.

The Subjective Global Assessment DVD is divided into two sections. Section 1 describes the SGA nutritional assessment technique. It explains how the medical history component and the physical assessment findings interrelate to generate a nutritional status classification. After explaining the basic principles, the DVD follows a trained clinician conducting the SGA assessment technique on four different patients:

  • One severely malnourished patient – Subjective Global Assessment Classification C
  • Two patients who are mildly malnourished or suspected of malnutrition– Subjective Global Assessment Classification B
  • One nourished patient – Subjective Global Assessment Classification A

Section 2 of this DVD presents 3 different patients for the viewer to test their ability to classify patients using the SGA nutritional assessment technique.

The Subjective Global Assessment DVD is available in standard DVD format for use in computers, portable players or home systems.

Subjective Global Assessment Score Sheet

Subjective Global Assessment Score Sheet has been developed to assist you in documenting the Subjective Global Assessment results of your patients. This sheet can be completed and entered in the patient’s medical record. When the SGA Score Sheet is purchased, you receive a license to make unlimited copies for use in your institution or practice. A partial view of the form is provided below.

Subject Global Assessment Score Sheet