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What is an appropriate diet for people living with cancer and involuntary weight loss: a systematic review [Abstract]

Hopkinson, Jane ORCID:, Okamoto, Ikumi and Addlington-Hall, Julia M. 2010. What is an appropriate diet for people living with cancer and involuntary weight loss: a systematic review [Abstract]. Palliative Medicine 24 (2) , p. 215. 10.1177/0269216310363376

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Background: Up to 80% of people with cancer experience involuntary weight loss (1,2). This symptom of cancer cachexia syndrome (CCS) is associated with morbidity and mortality. However, feeding has little effect on weight and survival. There is no current consensus on appropriate diet for people living with CCS. Purpose: To report a systematic review of the evidence base that can inform dietary advice for patients living with CCS. Methods: Searches were conducted of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases and reference lists, for publications about diet and cancer patients off treatment with symptoms of CCS. Limits were English language; 1998 to 9/2008; adults. 718 abstracts were assessed against nclusion/exclusion criteria and 90 were selected for full-text independent examination by two researchers. Information relevant to the review question was extracted, quality assessed, thematically analyzed and presented as a narrative description. Results: Sixty publications were included in the review. Two dominant perspectives emerged on what should be eaten by cancer patients living with involuntary weight loss. The majority of authors advocated a nutrition dense diet, achieved by nutritional counselling to i) educate on fortification of foods and ii) to advise frequent feeding. The alternative approach was to advise the patient to ‘eat what they want’. There is little robust evidence to justify either approach as able to deliver on the objectives they aim to achieve. Research is needed to establish which sub-groups of weight losing cancer patients can benefit from nutritional support. Conclusion: Feeding may not be futile if combined with other interventions and if evaluated against outcomes such as distress. A new model for the assessment and delivery of nutritional care may help patients living with CCS to optimize nutritional intake within the confines of their i/ disease process and treatment ii/ beliefs about food iii/ social resources iv/ coping approach.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Additional Information: Abstracts
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0269-2163
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:01

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