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J Clin Nurs. 2013 Jun;22(11-12):1539-49. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12053. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

The importance of nutrition, diet and lifestyle advice for cancer survivors - the role of nursing staff and interprofessional workers.

Author information

1
School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK. jmurphy@bournemouth.ac.uk

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To examine current guidelines and the evidence base to illustrate the importance of nutrition, diet and lifestyle advice to support people who have survived cancer and help them integrate back into normal life, improve their quality of life and potentially improve their chance of long-term survival.

BACKGROUND:

Cancer survivors need to know about nutrition and other lifestyle behaviour changes to help them recover and potentially reduce the risk of the same cancer recurring or a new cancer developing. From this perspective, frontline registered nurses are in a prime position to support cancer survivors who are in their care.

DESIGN:

Discursive paper.

METHODS:

On the basis of the international research evidence and a critical analysis of recent policy and practice literature, themes emerged, which illustrate the importance of nutrition, diet and lifestyle advice for cancer survivors. This paper discusses the need for more focused education and greater interprofessional working for quality care delivery.

CONCLUSION:

New professional guidance for emerging frontline nurses indicates they should be able to provide appropriate and more consistent advice on nutritional issues, physical activity and weight management, although more research is needed to understand the right mode of nutrition training. Additionally, interprofessional working needs improving as well as encouraging cancer survivors to respond.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

High-quality nutrition education and training is required for nurses working across both the acute and primary care sectors. They require this to effectively monitor and advise patients and to know when, where and from whom they can access more specialist help. Interprofessional collaborative working across multi-centre settings (National Health Service and non-National Health Service) is key to provide the best effective care and support for cancer survivors.

PMID:
23387979
DOI:
10.1111/jocn.12053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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