The Effect of Nutritional Supplements on the Food Intake of Radiotherapy Patients
Format of Original
Oncology Nursing Society
Oncology Nursing Forum
Original Item ID
Shelves: RC266 .O52x Raynor Memorial Periodicals
To describe the effect of nutritional supplements on food intake in patients undergoing radiotherapy. DESIGN: Experimental prospective. SAMPLE: 40 newly diagnosed patients with cancer beginning external beam radiation therapy. METHODS: Weekly dietary counseling and recording of total daily dietary intake for three days a week for four weeks. One half of the subjects were randomly assigned to ingest a liquid nutritional supplement between meals and at bedtime. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Total daily protein and caloric intake, food-derived protein and caloric intake, and supplement-derived protein and caloric intake. FINDINGS: Subjects ingesting nutritional supplements between meals significantly increased their total caloric and protein intake above that of controls and did not reduce their food-derived caloric or protein intake compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: Nutritional supplements can be used to increase total caloric and protein intake without causing a significant reduction in food intake. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: In this patient sample, supplements were not substituted for food intake. Further research is needed to determine the effects of supplements on appetite in patients with advanced cancer.