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Z Arztl Fortbild Qualitatssich. 2000 Sep;94(7):575-8.

[Nutritional problems in palliative medicine].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Arztliche Zentralstelle Qualitätssicherung, Köln. azq@dgn.de

Abstract

Malnutrition is a frequent problem in the palliative care of the seriously ill and dying. Want of appetite and los of weight are direct symptoms of patients with consumptive infectional diseases (AIDS, TBC) as well as cancer or geriatric patients. Severe malnutrition significantly contributes to a loss of quality of life and increases morbidity of palliative patients. The subjective well-being of seriously ill patients is heavily influenced by want of appetite and loss of weight. Patients often find want of appetite and the incapability to eat as pressing as the physical impairment caused by the disease. Therefore the sole aim of palliative dietotherapy has to be to strengthen the general physical and mental condition of the patient. A specific training of home care staff and relatives of seriously ill patients in dealing sensitively with this problem of care is desirable. Above all, in-patient treatment of affected patients for the sole purpose of feeding has to be avoided. Aggressive dietotherapeutic interventions, especially artificial feeding, should be refrained from as far as possible in the terminal phase. Only if the prognosis of a patient in palliative treatment is improving contrary to expectations are strategies of curative dietotherapy valid.

PMID:
11048342
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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