A fuzzy logic decision support system for assessing clinical nutritional risk

Document Type : Articles



Introduction: Studies have indicated a global high prevalence of hospital malnutrition on admission and during hospitalization. Clinical Nutritional Risk Screen (CNRS) is a way to identify malnutrition and manage nutritional interventions. Several traditional and non-computer based tools have been suggested for screening nutritional risk levels. The present study was an attempt to employ a computer based fuzzy model decision support system as a nutrition-screening tool for inpatients.Method: This is an applied modeling study. The system architecture was designed based on the fuzzy logic model including input data, inference engine, and output. A clinical nutritionist entered nineteen input variables using a windows-based graphical user interface. The inference engine was involved with knowledge obtained from literature and the construction of ‘IF-THEN’ rules. The output of the system was stratification of patients into four risk levels from ‘No’ to ‘High’ where a number was also allocated to them as a nutritional risk grade. All patients (121 people) admitted during implementing the system participated in testing the model. The classification tests were used to measure the CNRS fuzzy model performance. IBM SPSS version 21 was utilized as a tool for data analysis with α = 0.05 as a significance level.Results: Results showed that sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and precision of the fuzzy model performance were 91.67% (±4.92), 76% (±7.6), 88.43% (±5.7), and 93.62% (±4.32), respectively. Instant performance on admission and very low probability of mistake in predicting malnutrition risk level may justify using the model in hospitals.Conclusion: To conclude, the fuzzy model-screening tool is based on multiple nutritional risk factors, having the capability of classifying inpatients into several nutritional risk levels and identifying the level of required nutritional intervention.Keywords: Clinical decision support system; Fuzzy sets; Intelligent system; Expert system; Nutritional risk assessment

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