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Nutrition intervention is beneficial in oncology outpatients receiving radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area

Isenring, Elisabeth A., Capra, Sandra, & Bauer, Judith D. (2004) Nutrition intervention is beneficial in oncology outpatients receiving radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area. British Journal of Cancer, 91(3), pp. 447-452.

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Abstract

Background: Malnutrition occurs frequently in patients with cancer of the gastrointestinal or head and neck area and can lead to negative outcomes. Objective: To determine the impact of early and intensive nutrition intervention on body weight, body composition, nutritional status, global quality of life and physical function compared to usual practice in oncology outpatients receiving radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area.
Design: Outpatients commencing at least 20 fractions of radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area were randomised to receive intensive, individualised nutrition counselling by a dietitian using a standard protocol and oral supplements if required, or the usual practice of the centre (general advice and nutrition booklet). Outcome parameters were measured at baseline and four, eight, and twelve weeks after commencing radiotherapy using valid and reliable tools. Results: Sixty patients (51M;9F; mean age 61.9 yr +/- 14.0) were randomised to receive either nutrition intervention (n=29) or usual care (n=31). The nutrition intervention group had statistically smaller deteriorations in weight (p < 0.001), nutritional status (p = 0.020) and global quality of life (p = 0.009) compared with those receiving usual care. Clinically, but not statistically significant differences in fat-free mass were observed between the groups (p = 0.195). Conclusions Early and intensive nutrition intervention appears beneficial in terms of minimising weight loss, deterioration in nutritional status, global quality of life and physical function in oncology outpatients receiving radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area. Weight maintenance in this population leads to beneficial outcomes and suggests that this, rather than weight gain, may be a more appropriate aim of nutrition intervention.

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ID Code: 8285
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author. Author contact details: e.isenring@qut.edu.au
Keywords: dietetics, nutrition support, radiation oncology, cancer
DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601962
ISSN: 0007-0920
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Nature Publishing Group
Deposited On: 27 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:06

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