Acceptance of hospital diets and nutritional status among inpatients with cancer
To verify acceptance of hospital diets as to the nutritional status among patients admitted to the Oncology/Hematology Unit of a tertiary care hospital.
A cross-sectional study conducted among 100 patients, aged >18 years, of both genders. Body mass index and subjective global nutritional evaluation by patients were used to detect the nutritional status. The rest-ingestion index was used to evaluate diet acceptance, and the reasons for non-acceptance were identified by means of a questionnaire. Data were expressed in means and standard deviation, or medians and percentages. Comparisons were made using the Student’s t test, Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test, and Pearson’s χ² test.
A total of 59% of patients were males, and mean age was 51.6±13.5 years. According to the global subjective nutritional evaluation done by the patients themselves, 33% of the participants were considered malnourished and the body mass index detected 6.3% of malnutrition. The main symptoms reported were lack of appetite, xerostomia (dry mouth), constipation, dysgeusia, odor-related nausea, and early satiety. The rest-ingestion index was approximately 37% and significantly greater among the malnourished relative to the well-nourished (58.8 versus 46.4%; p=0.04). The primary reasons reported for non-acceptance of the diet offered were lack of flavor, monotonous preparations, large quantities offered, lack of appetite, and inappropriate temperature of the meal.
A high the rest-ingestion index was seen among the patients with cancer, especially those who were malnourished according to the global nutritional evaluation produced by the patient.