Research and Scholarship

Nutritional Risk in Cancer Patients 65 and Older Undergoing Systemic Phase I Treatment

Anna Cathy Williams, RN, PhD, PHN, Ed

From City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California

Author’s disclosure of conflict of interest is found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Anna Cathy Williams, RN, PhD, PHN, Ed, City of Hope National Medical Center, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010. E-mail: annacathy1954@gmail.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(5):465–474 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.5.3 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Malnutrition is common in cancer patients and recognized as an important component of adverse outcomes, including increased morbidity, mortality, and decreased quality of life (QOL). Quality of life is an overarching term for quality of various domains of life. It is a standard level that consists of the expectations of an individual for a good life. These expectations are guided by values, goals, and sociocultural context. It is a subjective, multidimensional concept defining a standard level for emotional, physical, material, and social well-being (Bottomley, 2012). Nutritional risk is not consistently assessed in the older adult cancer patient population. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to identify variables related to nutritional risk in the cancer patient 65 years and older receiving systemic treatments. The study described the relationship between nutritional risk and four domains of QOL (physical, social, emotional, and functional). A sample of 73 patients was accrued for this study from an NCI-funded RO1 aimed at integrating supportive care for cancer patients. The Mini Nutritional Assessment—Short Form instrument was used to assess for nutritional risk. Findings revealed the strongest correlation with nutritional risk was BMI status (r = .47, p < .0001). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated factors associated with nutritional risk included BMI, previous chemotherapy, and physical subscale of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy—General QOL instrument. Descriptive data reinforced the importance of assessment and intervention to support nutritional status. Nutrition impacts all dimensions of QOL and is even more important in an aging population. Advanced practitioners can contribute greatly to advancing this area of practice. 




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