Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Martha Biddle

Clinical Mentor

Stacy Stanifer

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Stefaniak

Abstract

Background: Patients undergoing treatment for both solid tumor and hematologic malignancies experience numerous symptoms that greatly affect their nutritional status. Malnutrition can have a negative impact on oncology patient outcomes. There is a reduced response to treatment, reduced survival and quality of life. Early and consistent interventions have proven beneficial in the oncology population.

Most hematologic cancer patients have good nutritional health. However, as their treatments intensify, side effects compared to their solid tumor counterparts can adversely affect nutrition. Interventions, consisting of total parenteral or enteral nutrition are initiated but only after oral intake has been impeded for 2-3 days.

Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of an early nutritional intervention on the nutritional status and knowledge of hematologic oncology patients.

Methods: A quasi-experimental feasibility study with a sample size of 50 oncology patients with a hematologic cancer diagnosis and can be in any phase of their oncology treatment. The Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist will provide a nutritional intervention consisting of three 15 minute educational visits to discuss nutrition and symptom management. A nutrition knowledge evaluation will be administered at study enrollment and then again prior to discharge.

Results: There was a statistically significant change in patient knowledge. This indicates the educational intervention was successful. However, due to small sample size, further evaluation is necessary to determine exact impact on nutritional status

Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Nutrition education intervention is feasible in this population and there was a significant increase in patient knowledge. Nutrition interventions should be provided early and consistently and continue after discharge from hospital setting.

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