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The provision of nutritional advice and care for cancer patients: a UK national survey of healthcare professionals

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posted on 15.09.2020 by Jane L Murphy, Fehmidah Munir, Fiona Davey, Laura Miller, Ramsey Cutress, Rhys White, Megan Lloyd, Justin Roe, Carol Granger, Sorrel Burden, Lesley Turner
Abstract Purpose People living with and beyond cancer often experience nutrition-related issues and should receive appropriate advice on nutrition that is consistent and evidence based. The aim of this study was to investigate current practice for the provision of nutritional care by healthcare professionals (HCPs) from a UK national survey produced by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration.
Methods An online survey sent to professional groups and networks included questions on discussing nutrition, providing information, awareness of guidelines, confidence in providing nutritional advice, training and strategies for improving nutritional management.
Results There were 610 HCPs who responded including nurses (31%), dietitians (25%), doctors (31%) and speech and language therapists (9%). The majority of HCPs discusses nutrition (94%) and provides information on nutrition (77%). However, only 39% of HCPs reported being aware of nutritional guidelines, and just 20% were completely confident in providing nutritional advice. Awareness of guidelines varied between the different professional groups with most but not all dietitians reporting the greatest awareness of guidelines and GPs the least (p = 0.001). Those HCPs with a greater awareness of guidelines had received training (p = 0.001) and were more likely to report complete confidence in providing nutritional advice (p = 0.001).
Conclusion Whilst HCPs discuss nutrition with cancer patients and may provide information, many lack an awareness of guidelines and confidence in providing nutritional advice. To ensure consistency of practice and improvements in patient care, there is scope for enhancing the provision of appropriate nutrition education and training.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Supportive Care in Cancer

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/09/2020

Publication date

2020-09-12

ISSN

0941-4355

eISSN

1433-7339

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Fehmidah Munir Deposit date: 14 September 2020

Licence

Exports