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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 390-395

Nutritional issues and self-care measures adopted by cancer patients attending a university hospital in Turkey

Nursing Faculty, Hacettepe Universitesi, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Sevgisun Kapucu
Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing Hacettepe University, Ankara
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.196500

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Objective: This study aimed to assess the nutritional status of cancer patients and the self-care measures they adopted as a response to nutritional problems. Methods: This descriptive study included seventy cancer patients staying in the oncology and internal disease clinics of a university hospital in Turkey. Data were collected using a questionnaire with 29 questions. Results: The mean age of participants was 40.2 ΁ 1.82 years. Approximately, 62.9% of the patients ate only half of the meals offered to them, 65.7% experienced weight loss, and 45.7% had difficulty eating their meals on their own. Moreover, 47.1% of the patients received nutritional support and nutritional problems were observed in 71.4% of the patients; 80% were unable to eat hospital food, 54.3% had an eating disorder related to a special diet, 30% suffered from loss of appetite, 27% had nausea, and 14.3% had difficulty swallowing. Furthermore, 48.5% of patients responded that they ate home-cooked food or ordered food from outside when questioned about the self-care measures taken to avoid the aforementioned nutritional problems. Conclusions: Most of the cancer patients had serious nutritional problems and ate home-cooked food and used nutritional supplements to overcome these problems. Oncology nurses are responsible for evaluating the nutritional status of cancer patients and eliminating nutritional problems.

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