Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 153–161

Nutritional support and risk status among cancer patients in palliative home care services

Authors

    • Division of Surgery, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska InstitutetKarolinska University Hospital
    • R & D UnitStockholms Sjukhem Foundation
  • C. Tishelman
    • R & D UnitStockholms Sjukhem Foundation
    • Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management CenterKarolinska Institutet
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social WorkUniversity of Manchester
  • J. Permert
    • Division of Surgery, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska InstitutetKarolinska University Hospital
  • T. Cederholm
    • Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Nutrition and MetabolismUppsala University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-008-0467-4

Cite this article as:
Orrevall, Y., Tishelman, C., Permert, J. et al. Support Care Cancer (2009) 17: 153. doi:10.1007/s00520-008-0467-4

Abstract

Goal of work

The aim of this study was to investigate the nutritional risk status and use of nutritional support among cancer patients enrolled in palliative home care services. Differences in the use of nutritional support in relation to nutritional, social and clinical factors, as well as survival were also investigated.

Patients and methods

Structured telephone interviews were conducted with cancer patients enrolled in all 21 palliative home care services in the Stockholm region. An interview guide was designed to investigate topics related to the patient’s nutritional situation.

Main results

Interviews with 621 patients were analysed. Sixty-eight percent of the patients were scored as at nutritional risk according on a modified version of NRS-2002. Nutritional support was used by 55% of the patients, with oral nutritional supplements most common and 14% using artificial nutrition. Use of nutritional support was related to low BMI and severe weight loss and was more common in patients with shorter survival times.

Conclusions

These findings demonstrate that nutritional support is used to treat already malnourished patients with shorter survival time, rather than to prevent malnutrition. A more structured approach to nutritional issues for patients in palliative phases, which considers life expectancy and psycho-social aspects of nutritional issues, could help identify potential candidates for nutritional support.

Keywords

Home care servicesNeoplasmNutrition assessmentNutritional supportPalliative care

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008