Understanding Nutritional Problems of Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients: Opportunities for Supportive Care Through eHealth

Dorien L. Oostra, Natasha Renee Burse, Laura J. Wolf, Erica Schleicher, Scherezade K. Mama, Shirley Bluethmann, Kathryn Schmitz, Renate M. Winkels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Metastatic breast cancer patients are now living longer but cope with potential symptoms of metastatic disease and prolonged cancer treatment. Nutrition can play a vital role in managing these sequelae, and eHealth tools are emerging as promising delivery options for nutrition interventions. OBJECTIVE: To qualitatively assess nutritional problems and concerns of women with metastatic breast cancer and to explore how to address these problems within an existing eHealth platform. METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 women with metastatic breast cancer participating in an ongoing eHealth study. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a team-based content analysis approach. RESULTS: Most respondents reported currently or previously experiencing nutritional problems due to adverse effects of cancer treatment or the disease itself; these were rarely addressed during routine clinical care. Five major themes emerged: (1) knowledge about nutrition, (2) nutrition information-seeking, (3) social aspects of nutrition, (4) nutrition interest, and (5) how to address nutrition with an eHealth platform. The respondents reported diverse experiences and perspectives regarding nutrition and diet in the context of metastatic breast cancer within each theme. CONCLUSION: Findings indicate the importance of providing women with metastatic breast cancer with information about nutrition that is tailored to their specific disease, as these patients report both nutritional problems and uncertainty regarding nutritional strategies. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: These findings are a first step toward designing supportive care interventions that could fill the gap related to nutritional concerns not addressed during routine clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Nursing
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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