The impact of chemosensory and food-related changes in patients with advanced oesophagogastric cancer treated with capecitabine and oxaliplatin: a qualitative study

Y.C. de Vries, M.P.A.C. Helmich, Matty Karsten, S. Boesveldt, R.M. Winkels, H. van Laarhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose Chemosensory changes are frequently observed side
effects of cytotoxic treatment and have an impact on daily life
by altering food-related behaviour and daily practices. For
oesophagogastric cancer patients, these changes can be particularly
important as they may have specific needs with regard
to eating, due to obstruction of the upper intestinal tract. The
purpose of this study was to gain insight into the impact of
chemosensory and food-related changes in oesophagogastric
cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and how this may
influence the practical and social aspects of food-related behaviour
of patients and their relatives.
Methods We used a qualitative interview approach with a
cross-sectional design using semi-structured interviews.
Template analysis was used to analyse patients’ experiences
with and the impact of chemosensory changes on daily life.
Thirteen advanced oesophagogastric cancer patients treated
with capecitabine and oxaliplatin were included by
convenience sampling, recruited from one academic hospital,
and interviewed at home or in the hospital.
Results There was a large variation in the impact of
chemosensory changes in oesophagogastric cancer (OGC) patients,
though daily life was impacted substantially when
chemosensory and/or food-related changes were experienced.
Three main themes emerged from the interviews: altered food
preferences, practical constraints in daily life, and impact on
social functioning.
Conclusion Chemosensory and food-related changes significantly
influenced food preferences and had practical and social
consequences in daily life of patients and their relatives.
Specific nutritional care for these patients should be directed
towards enhancing food enjoyment and should take the specific
needs, related to the location of the tumour, into account.
Keywords Cancer . Chemotherapy . Taste . Smell . Food
preferences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3119-3126
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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