Patient and carer experience of nutrition care throughout treatment for head and neck cancer: a systematic qualitative review and thematic synthesis

Head and Neck Cancer

Hiatt JS, et al. Support Care Cancer 2020 - Review.


Nutrition care plays a critical role in the provision of best practice care to head and neck cancer (HNC) patients, with carers playing an important role in supporting patients to maintain nutrition intake. This qualitative systematic review investigated patient and carer experience of nutrition care throughout and beyond HNC treatment. Five databases were systematically searched for qualitative studies reporting on patient and carer experience of nutrition care throughout HNC. Twenty-five

studies including 435 patients and 46 carers were identified, revealing three themes: information and support in the healthcare setting, enteral feeding challenges and management, and life outside hospital. Findings highlight the importance of providing individualised person-centred nutrition care to patients with HNC and their carers. Further qualitative research is needed to inform healthcare professionals about the needs of patients and carers to provide appropriate support throughout the treatment trajectory across and between different treatment modalities.