Altered food intake and taste perception in children with cancer after start of chemotherapy: perspectives of children, parents and nurses

Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
I SkolinO Hernell

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to better understand various variables related to food intake and eating problems in children with cancer during their chemotherapy. Twenty-two consecutively admitted children, diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, participated in this study. Twenty-one of them, their parents and attending nurses participated in semi-structured interviews. Ten of the children underwent a taste acuity test, and recognition thresholds for the four basic tastes were determined. The shared view of both children and parents was that altered taste was the predominant cause of the eating problems. In contrast, the nurses perceived that nausea was the most important cause of the children's eating problems. In addition, psychological aspects such as learned food aversions and negative attitudes towards hospital food were regarded as important by children, parents and nurses. The taste test showed that the patients had higher thresholds for bitter taste and made more taste recognition errors compared to controls. Changes seem to exist both in the primary gustatory sense as well as in food perception in paediatric cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Single solutions, such as efforts to serve "tasty food", do...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Teens
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