A qualitative study into the relationship cancer survivors' have with nutrition post-cancer treatment

Niamh O'Callaghan, Pauline Douglas, Laura Keaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Ireland, the number of individuals living with and beyond cancer equates to almost 4% of the population, projected to increase. Little is known about how cancer changes views on food and nutrition among cancer survivors. A patient-centered perspective is imperative for developing future health interventions in this cohort. This study aimed to explore these perceptions and views amongst Irish cancer survivors. Participants living across Ireland and who had completed active cancer treatment at least six months ago were eligible for this study. Semi-structured focus groups were conducted online via Microsoft Teams. Data was analysed using Braun and Clarke's updated six-phase process for reflexive thematic analysis. Five focus group interviews were held with cancer survivors (n=20). The cohort was predominately female (n=17) with a mean age of 51.3 ± 11.9 years. Three core themes emerged (i) the role of nutrition, (ii) cancer as a catalyst for change and (iii) the overall lack of nutritional support in oncology. Findings suggest how a cancer diagnosis prompts a re-evaluation of health status and may prime survivors toward healthier dietary choices. The views of our participants indicate that survivors long for guidance from health professionals about their nutrition and the side effects of their cancer treatment and medication that impact dietary intake. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Early online date27 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Nutritional Support
  • Nutrition
  • Diet
  • Cancer Survivorship
  • Food Choice

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