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Paper Information

Journal:   NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES RESEARCH   NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2014 , Volume 1 , Number SUPPL. (1); Page(s) 69 To 70.
 
Paper: 

NUTRITIONAL CHALLENGES IN CANCER PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES: A QUALITATIVE STUDY

 
 
Author(s):  AFGARI N.*, MOKARIAN F., ZARGHAM A.
 
* SUPPORTIVE AND PALLIATIVE CARE CENTER, ISFAHAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Background: Cancer is a term used for group of diseases that abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer curative therapies have lots of side effects for patients like weight loss, appetite loss, pain, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, nausea, anemia, changes in throat, alopecia, infections, fatigue and neuropathy.
Nutrition and patient’s diet in this period have an important role in side effect management. In according to lack of knowledge about cancer and its curative plane before it gets start and nutrition confusion in patients and their family in this period, this qualitative study planned to explore perceived nutritional needs and knowledge in patients with cancer and their families to help dietitians in preparing educational booklets and design nutritional workshops to improve their nutritional knowledge and the ways of side effects control.
Methods: This is a qualitative research conducted through thematic analysis approach. This study was organized in Entekhab Palliative Care Center in 2014. Purposive sampling was conducted.12 patients with one caregiver (24 participants) involved in this study.
Results: Data analysis showed that nutrition problems faced by patients fell into 2 main categories. These categories included Nutritional Confusions and Financial Problems in Food Supplies. Nutrition Confusion as a main category includes 3 subcategories: What Should I Eat 1) Before treatments, 2) During treatments, 3) After treatments.
Conclusion: The results showed that Nutritional Confusion was the most important challenge of the patients and their families. Patients mentioned that it is related to low level of knowledge and controversial information they receive from different sources like people, internet, books. If necessary knowledge about treatment side effects and the ways of manage them with nutritional tips, their nutritional challenges can be notably reduced. Financial Problems in Food Supplies was another main category in this study was related to expensive cancer treatments and nutritional and money management comments in this field can decrease worries in treatment period. These results can be helpful for dietitians without any work experience with cancer patients.

 
Keyword(s): NUTRITION, KNOWLEDGE, CANCER, TREATMENTS, QUALITATIVE
 
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