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Int J Clin Oncol. 2017 Feb;22(1):200-206. doi: 10.1007/s10147-016-1025-6. Epub 2016 Aug 2.

Nutritional care of cancer patients: a survey on patients' needs and medical care in reality.

Author information

1
Dr. Senckenberg Chronomedical Institute, J.W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt, Germany.
2
Self-help group Women after cancer, Thomas-Mann-Straße 40, 53111, Bonn, Germany.
3
Das Lebenshaus e.V. (House of Life), Untergasse 36, 61200, Wölfersheim, Germany.
4
Working group of patients after pancreatectomy, Thomas-Mann-Straße 40, 53111, Bonn, Germany.
5
Dietetic Unit, Faculty Agriculture and Food Sciences, Hochschule Neubrandenburg-University of Applied Sciences, Brodaer Str. 2, 17033, Neubrandenburg, Germany.
6
Else Kröner-Fresenius Prevention Center, Department of Prevention and Sports Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich (TUM), Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675, Munich, Germany.
7
Working Group Integrative Oncology, Dr. Senckenberg Chronomedical Institute, J.W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt, Germany. huebner@med.uni-frankfurt.de.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Cancer patients represent a patient group with a wide-range of nutrition related problems which are often under-recognized and undertreated. In order to assess the status quo of nutritional care in Germany, we conducted a survey among patients with different types of cancer.

METHODS:

A standardized questionnaire was distributed online by two national umbrella organizations for self-help groups.

RESULTS:

1335 participants completed the questionnaire. 69 % of the participants reported having received information on nutrition and/or specific nutrition-related symptoms. Most often this information was derived from print media (68.5 %) or from within self-help groups (58.7 %). 57.0 % of participants reported having had questions concerning nutrition and/or problems with food intake. most frequently named topics of interest were "healthy diet" (35.0 %) weakness/fatigue (24.3 %), dietary supplements (21.3 %) and taste changes (19.8 %). Nutrition information was most often provided by dietitians (38.7 %) followed by physicians (9.8 %). Women reported receiving nutrition counseling in the hospital nearly twice as often as men (12.5 % versus 5.7 %; p < 0.001). A quarter of the patients (24.1 %) reported using dietary supplements and patients who had received some sort of nutrition information more often reported using supplements (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Nutrition is an essential element in cancer care and patients report a high interest and need: Yet, many patients do not have access to high quality nutrition therapy during and after cancer therapy.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS:

With respect to survival and quality of life, increasing the availability and resources for provision of evidence based nutrition information seems mandatory.

KEYWORDS:

Cachexia; Cancer; Counseling; Health care system; Malnutrition; Medical nutrition therapy; Nutrition; Patients

PMID:
27485457
DOI:
10.1007/s10147-016-1025-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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