Aim: To determine patient satisfaction with nutrition interventions in outpatients receiving chemotherapy identified as at nutritional risk.
Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted at an Australian public hospital in 61 oncology outpatients receiving chemotherapy. A simple malnutrition screening tool was used to identify nutritional risk. Patients identified as moderate risk were triaged to receive nutrition handouts on increasing energy and protein intake. Those at high risk received nutrition counselling and support by a dietitian. Patient satisfaction was assessed using a modification of a valid and reliable satisfaction with nutrition services questionnaire.
Results: Sixty-one patients entered the study and one-third (20/61) were at nutritional risk. Seven patients were at high risk, and received dietetic review while 13 patients were at moderate risk and received nutrition handouts. Patients identified as at nutritional risk (n=20) were approached to complete the satisfaction with nutrition services questionnaire. Eighteen patients completed the questionnaire (n=7: dietetic review; and n=11: nutrition handout). Nutrition information/ advice was rated as helpful (n=15), met patient expectations (n=16) and overall patient satisfaction was rated highly. Patients who had received a dietitian review recorded a clinically but not statistically higher overall satisfaction with nutrition services than those patients receiving the nutrition handout.
Conclusion: The high patient satisfaction helps support nutrition intervention at the chemotherapy unit. A prospective trial is required to determine the benefits of this triage and nutrition intervention on nutrition-related outcomes.