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Nursing assessment and management of nutrition in older people with cancer: An integrative review

      Abstract

      Background

      There is a risk of malnutrition when older people are diagnosed with cancer, highlighting the need for nutritional assessments and appropriate management to be undertaken by healthcare professionals including nurses. The absence of a standardised assessment method and management of nutrition in older people creates a gap in clinical practice and warrants further research.

      Aim

      The aim of this review was to explore the current nutritional assessment methods and evidence-based interventions for improving nutritional outcomes in older people with cancer.

      Methods

      An integrative literature review was conducted using electronic databases. Papers were limited to those published in English between 2009 and 2021. Search terms included older adult, elder, geriatric, senior, cancer, nutrition, malnutrition, hospital, and inpatient across four databases: Embase, CINAHL, MEDLINE, and Scopus. Using the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 303 articles were screened. A Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) (2018) was used for quality appraisal. Concept analysis explored themes across the included articles.

      Findings

      The themes from the analysis of 10 primary research articles, which included 5,327 participants, were (i) types of nutritional assessment and (ii) management of older people with cancer. The main nutritional assessment scales used were the Mini Nutrition Assessment and Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment.

      Conclusion

      The completion of a comprehensive nutritional assessment by health professionals, including nurses, could facilitate early dietary intervention in older persons with cancer. This would enable supportive dietary advice and supplementation to improve health outcomes.

      Keywords

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