Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1289–1296 | Cite as

Paediatric oncology patient preference for oral nutritional supplements in a clinical setting

  • Jennifer Cohen
  • Kate Rosen
  • Ken K. Russell
  • Claire E. Wakefield
  • Belinda Goodenough
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Oral nutrition supplements are commonly used to increase the nutrient intake of children who are undergoing treatment for cancer. However, little research has been conducted systematically examining preferences for oral supplements in this population. This study aims to address a gap in the literature by examining taste preferences of oral nutrition supplements routinely recommended for children undergoing treatment for cancer.

Methods

Twenty-one children undergoing treatment for cancer and 38 healthy control subjects participated in an acute double-blinded feeding trial. A variety of energy drinks, available both commercially and in the hospital, were sampled. Patients rated the taste of the drinks on a 10-cm coloured analogue scale.

Results

A commercially-based drink (Moove™) rated the highest in the blinded and branded tests for the treatment (mean rating out of 10, 6.44 ± 2.69 and 7.26 ± 2.33, respectively) and control groups (mean rating, 7.61 ± 1.91 and 7.70 ± 2.32, respectively). Taste ratings were significantly higher for commercially available supplements over the hospital-prepared supplements, (p = 0.041), with no main effect for tasting condition (i.e. blinded versus branded, p = 0.902). There was a statistically significant trend such that ratings, when the brand that was known decreased for hospital supplements, while ratings for commercially available supplements increased (p = 0.014).

Conclusion

Fresh milk-based supplements were the preferred type of oral nutrition supplement in a cohort of paediatric oncology patients. The data also suggest that commercially available products are more likely to be accepted than hospital-prepared supplements. This pilot study supports the need for further research in the area of oral nutrition supplements for paediatric oncology patients as a way of determining a reliable way to estimate preferences and therefore maximise compliance. Results from this research could be also used as the basis for designing research to study the effects of flavour fatigue and long-term compliance with oral nutrition supplements in this population.

Keywords

Paediatric Cancer Nutrition Oral supplements Compliance Preference 

Notes

Acknowledgements

There was no funding given for support of this study, though all products were donated by the companies. There was no other support given by the companies involved in this study, and they were approached by the researchers for their products to be used, based on products used previously at this site. Dr Wakefield is supported by a Clinical Research (Australia) Post Doctoral Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (ID 510421).

JC was responsible for the design, ethics submission and partial write-up of the manuscript. KR was responsible for the data collection, some statistical analysis and partial write-up of the manuscript. KR was responsible for the majority of the statistical analysis of the data. CW was responsible for partial write-up of the manuscript. BG was responsible for the design of the study, as well as partial write-up of the manuscript.

References

  1. 1.
    Mascarenhas KA, Stallings VA (1998) Nutritional assessment in pediatrics. Nutrition 14:105–115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Holmes S (1993) Food avoidance in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. Support Care Cancer 1:326–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sala A, Pencharz P, Barr RD (2004) Children, cancer and nutrition—a dynamic triangle in review. Cancer 100:677–687PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wickham RS, Rehwaldt M, Kefer C et al (1994) Taste changes experienced by patients receiving chemotherapy. Oncol Nurs Forum 26:697–705Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Andrassy RJ, Chawals WJ (1998) Nutritional support of the pediatric oncology patient. Nutrition 14:124–129PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bowman L, Williams R, Sanders M, Ringwald-Smith K, Baker D, Gajjar A (1998) Algorithm for nutritional support: experience of the metabolic and infusion support service of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Int J Cancer 11:76–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ladas EJ, Sacks N, Meacham L et al (2005) A multidisciplinary review of nutrition considerations in the pediatric oncology population: a perspective from the children’s oncology group. Nutr Clin Prac 20:377–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bolton J, Shannon L, Smith V et al (1990) Comparison of short-term and long-term palatability of six commercially available oral supplements. J Hum Nutr Diet 3:317–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mauer AM, Burgess JB, Donaldson SS et al (1990) Special nutritional needs of children with malignancies: a review. J Ent Parent Nutr 14:315–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Matsui D (2007) Assessing the palatability of medications in children. Paediatr Perinat Drug Ther 8:55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Szoida MM, Mulder CJJ, Felt-Bersma RJF (2007) Differences in taste between two polyethylene glycol preparations. J Gastrointest Liver Dis 16:379–381Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bolton J, Abbott R, Kiely M et al (1992) Comparison of three oral sip-feed supplements in patients with cancer. J Human Nutr Diet 5:79–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Parkinson SA, Lewis J, Morris R, Allbright A, Plant H, Slevin ML (1987) Oral protein and energy supplements in cancer patients. Hum Nutr: Appl Nutr 41A:233–243Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Poustie VJ, Watling RM, Ashby D, Smyth RL (1999) Taste preferences for oral calorie supplements in children with cystic fibrosis, healthy children and healthy adults. J Human Nutr Diet 12:301–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Scalera G (2002) Effects of conditioned food aversions on nutritional behaviour in humans. Nutri Neurosci 5:159–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brisbois TD, Hutton JL, Baracos VE, Vi W (2006) Taste and smell abnormalities as independent cause of failure of food intake in patients with advanced cancer—an argument for the application of sensory science. J Pallative Care 22:111–128Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Moody K, Meyer M, Mancuso CA, Charlson M, Robbins L (2006) Exploring concerns of children with cancer. Support Care Cancer 14:960–966PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hanigan MJ, Walter GA (1992) Nutritional support of the child with cancer. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs 9:110–118PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pilner P, Salvy SJ (2006) Food neophobia in Humans. In: Shepher R, Raats M (eds) The psychology of food choice. CABI Publishing, Oxfordshire, pp 75–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Skolin I, Hursti U-KK, Wahlin YB (2001) Parents’ perception of their child’s food intake after the start of chemotherapy. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs 18:124–136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    McGrath PA, Seifert CE, Speechley KN, Booth JC, Stitt L, Gibson MC (1996) A new analogue scale for assessing children’s pain: an initial validation study. Pain 64:435–443PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Williams EJ (1949) Experimental designs balanced for the estimation of residual effects of treatments. Aust J Scientific Res A2:149–168Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rahemtulla Z, Baldwin C, Spiro A et al (2005) The palatability of milk-based and non-milk based nutritional supplements in gastrointestinal cancer and the effect of chemotherapy. Clin Nutri 24:1029–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Robinson TN, Borzekowski DLG, Matheson DM, Kraemer HC (2007) Effects of fast food branding on young children’s taste preferences. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 161:792–797PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Cohen
    • 1
  • Kate Rosen
    • 1
  • Ken K. Russell
    • 2
  • Claire E. Wakefield
    • 3
    • 4
  • Belinda Goodenough
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition & DieteticsSydney Children’s HospitalRandwickAustralia
  2. 2.School of Mathematics & Applied StatisticsUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Children’s Cancer and Blood DisordersSydney Children’s HospitalRandwickAustralia
  4. 4.School of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  5. 5.School of Psychology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations