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Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement usage among children with disabilities: A systematic review

Hayes, Julia; Quiring, Michael; Kerac, Marko; Smythe, Tracey; Tann, Cally J; Groce, Nora; Gultie, Zerihun; ... DeLacey, Emily; + view all (2023) Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement usage among children with disabilities: A systematic review. Nutrition and Health 10.1177/02601060231181607. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Anthropometric measurements, including mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), are used for monitoring and evaluating children's nutritional status. Evidence is limited on optimal nutritional assessment for children with disabilities, who are at high risk for malnutrition. Aim: This study describes MUAC use among children with disabilities. Methods: Four databases (Embase, Global Health, Medline, and CINHAL) were searched from January 1990 through September 2021 using a predefined search strategy. Of the 305 publications screened, 32 papers were included. Data included children 6 months to 18 years old with disabilities. Data including general study characteristics, methods for MUAC measurement, terminology, and measurement references were extracted into Excel. Due to heterogeneity of the data, a narrative synthesis was used. Results: Studies from 24 countries indicate that MUAC is being used as part of nutritional assessment, but MUAC measurement methods, references, and cutoffs were inconsistent. Sixteen (50%) reported MUAC as a mean ± standard deviation (SD), 11 (34%) reported ranges or percentiles, 6 (19%) reported z-scores, and 4 (13%) used other methods. Fourteen (45%) studies included both MUAC and weight-for-height but nonstandard reporting limited comparability of the indicators for identifying those at risk of malnutrition. Conclusion: Although its speed, simplicity, and ease of use afford MUAC great potential for assessing children with disabilities, more research is needed to understand its appropriateness, and how it performs at identifying nutritionally high-risk children in comparison to other measures. Without validated inclusive measures to identify malnutrition and monitor growth and health, millions of children could have severe consequences for their development.

Type: Article
Title: Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement usage among children with disabilities: A systematic review
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/02601060231181607
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/02601060231181607
Language: English
Additional information: © The Authors 2023. Original content in this paper is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Anthropometry, Assessment of nutritional status, Child nutrition, Disability, Mid-upper arm circumference, Nutritional status, Undernutrition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10172463
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