Mal J Nutr 22(1): 65 - 79, 2016

Improving the Nutritional Status of Patients with Colorectal Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy through Intensive Individualised Diet and Lifestyle Counselling
Zalina Abu Zaid1,2, Kathryn Jackson2, Mirnalini Kandiah3 & Lynne Cobiac1,2

1 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, South Australia, Australia
2 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia 3 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Introduction: Malnutrition is common among patients with cancer and it is also associated with their negative health outcomes. Generally, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have a high risk of malnutrition, secondary to both the disease and the treatment. It is important that patients maintain a good nutritional status to improve the effects, and minimise the side effects of cancer treatment. A good nutritional status should be maintained for patients through nutritional intervention during cancer treatment. There appears to be no published studies on the effects of intense dietary counselling versus usual dietary care on the nutritional status of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients undergoing chemotherapy alone. Furthermore, there have been no randomised controlled trials (RC1) undertaken in Malaysia, where CRC is increasing. It is therefore important to undertake a RCT of a dietary and lifestyle counselling intervention of CRC outpatients undergoing chemotherapy. Methods: The intervention study was an open (masking not used), prospective, and Rcr to examine the effects of intensive individualised dietary and lifestyle counselling on dietary intake and nutritional status in CRC patients undergoing chemotherapy. It was designed as an 8-week program of intensive, individualised dietary and lifestyle counselling followed up with another 8-week post-intervention period without dietary and lifestyle counselling, and compared to a control arm given the usual care. A total of forty-two participants took part in this study and were randomised into two groups, namely, the intervention group (IG) (n=22) and the control group(CG) (n=20) at Kuala Lumpur Hospital and SelayangHospital, Malaysia. Results In this study, 67% of CRC patients were malnourished at baseline. In the IQ the prevalence of malnutrition dropped from 72.7% at baseline to 27.3% eight weeks after the intervention. This repesents a large, and clinically meaningful shift. In the CG, the prevalence of malnutrition, or at risk of malnutrition, was still at 75% at the end of the sixteen weeks. Conclusion: Intensive, individualised dietary and lifestyle counselling resulted in improved nutritional status in patients with CRC undergoing chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy, colorectal cancer, dietary counselling, nutritional status

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