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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2004 Sep 17;31(5):989-96. Print 2004 Sep.

Professional and patient perspectives on nutritional needs of patients with cancer.

Author information

1
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, USA. hartmulv@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To identify and compare perceptions of RNs, registered dietitians (RDs), and patients regarding the best format and key nutrition information components that should be provided to patients during cancer treatment.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study using an opinion-based questionnaire.

SETTING:

Outpatient cancer centers.

SAMPLE:

506 RNs and 367 RDs, as well as 653 patients undergoing cancer treatment.

METHODS:

Two similar self-administered questionnaires were developed, one for patients and one for healthcare professionals. Face and content validity were assessed by a panel of experts. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square statistic, and a Spearman Correlation Coefficient to compare responses.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Patient nutrition concerns as well as format and content of printed educational materials.

FINDINGS:

Significant differences existed among groups regarding the most common nutrition concerns, the perception of importance of information frequently provided to patients with cancer, and rank order of importance for eight items typically provided to patients. The dietary information format preferred by all groups was an all-inclusive booklet; RNs (75%) were more likely than RDs (43%) or patients (50%) to prefer this format. Data also revealed that almost half of the patients (47%) received no dietary counseling, including 18% who experienced significant weight loss.

CONCLUSIONS:

RNs and RDs who provide nutrition education to patients with cancer should consider the need to develop and use a variety of printed materials to meet individual needs. Because major concerns of patients and healthcare professionals were related to patients ability to consume adequate amounts of food, this should be the primary focus of any nutrition education materials.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

These findings provide information that can be applied to the development of informational materials and counseling practices.

PMID:
15378100
DOI:
10.1188/04.ONF.989-996
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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