Exploring the views of dietetic healthcare professionals on a mobile health application (MUST app) that identifies people at risk of malnutrition

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Rationale: The Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) is the most commonly used tool in UK hospitals to screen for malnutrition[1]. Although, nutritional screening is often limited in UK community settings where the approximate prevalence of malnutrition in people aged ≥50 years is 16.7%[2]. To facilitate community-based screening a mobile app has been developed.
Methods: We conducted a qualitative study that explored the views of potential users on design, functionality and usefulness of the MUST app. We ran a series of online focus groups with dietetic healthcare professionals (HCP) where the app was demonstrated and discussed. Recorded data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using framework analysis.
Results: Eight focus groups were conducted from Aug 22-Jan 23 and 35 HCP evaluated the app. Overall feedback was positive stating that the app would be particularly useful in community settings such as care homes and would be easier to use, thus providing more accurate results compared to paper/online versions. Most participants considered the app to be for professional use only, stating that patients may find it too technical. There was also discussion about the app causing unnecessary anxiety or panic if misinterpreted or used without a healthcare professional present. Other suggestions included the addition of more subjective measurements and guidance on measuring ulna length.
Conclusion: The MUST app provides an easy and accessible way to screen for malnutrition. It was positively valued by potential users and considered highly useful for improving routine and accuracy of screening, particularly in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531
Number of pages1
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2023


  • malnutrition
  • risk of malnutrition
  • MUST
  • Malnutrition screening
  • mHealth apps
  • Mobile applications development


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