Q26. What is the impact of patient adherence with dietary advice to their outcomes?
The level II positive quality study  measured compliance with dietary recommendations on a weekly basis through a supplement consumption record kept daily by the patient and verified by a carer/relative to ensure compliance. Even at the three month follow up time point the nutrition intervention group had remained compliant with dietary recommendations, and this translated into positive patient outcomes.
One level IV neutral quality study  reported on the different clinical outcomes according to adherence and non adherence with dietary recommendations but did not report on the reasons why patients were non-adherent. 47% of patients were deemed non-adherent – either not accepting nutritional counselling or refusing nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes during treatment. Ninety percent of adherent patients maintained their weight (mean weight change 0%) and all of the non-adherent patients continued to lose weight (mean 11% weight loss) during treatment. This trend continued in the 30-day follow up period post treatment. One level IV neutral quality study  studied patients who developed food aversions during radiotherapy. This demonstrated 53% of patients developed an aversion to items in their usual diet. The impact of this on their nutritional status was not measured, but the anticipated outcome is likely to have an impact on a patients’ ability to follow dietary advice if they have aversions to the foods being recommended to them, and therefore counselling strategies are required. One level IV neutral quality study  demonstrated the impact that side effects of treatment (xerostomia, taste, mucositis) and the associated interventions (frequency of oral cares, analgesic use) have on appetite. A level IV negative quality study  describes the food characteristics required to enable a patient to maintain their appetite, such as “ease of foods that dissolve well in the mouth” and “ease of consuming foods with a mild taste”. One level IV neutral quality study demonstrates that as mucositis improves, dietary oral intake improves . Therefore management of these side effects and identification of strategies is important to enable adherence to dietary advice.
|Patient adherence with dietary advice and nutrition support recommendations are essential to achieve positive outcomes through nutrition intervention. Therefore, the role of the multidisciplinary team is essential to ensure management of treatment side effects (e.g. pain, dysphagia, and mucositis) and other psychosocial factors are addressed to enable patients to follow dietary advice.||B|
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