A description of the nutritional status and quality of life of Australian gynaecological cancer patients over time
Ryan, M and White, K and Roydhouse, J and Fethney, J, A description of the nutritional status and quality of life of Australian gynaecological cancer patients over time, European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16, (5) pp. 453-459. ISSN 1462-3889 (2012) [Refereed Article]
Crown Copyright 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Purpose of the research: To describe the quality of life, nutritional status and physical activity of women
with gynaecological cancer over three time points.
Methods and sample: Women referred to a major gynaecological cancer service in Sydney for initial
treatment were invited to complete validated questionnaires at baseline, three and six months after
diagnosis. Quality of life was assessed using the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF36) and the
Symptom Distress Scale. Nutritional status was assessed using the Patient Generated-Subjective Global
Assessment and physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire
Effect sizes corrected for correlation were calculated using Cohenís d and Friedmanís test was used to
compare scores. Complete case analysis was used.
Key results: Forty women were recruited and twenty-three (58%) completed assessment measures for all
three time points. No important clinical or demographic differences existed between women who
completed all measures and those who did not.
Over the duration of the study, the number of well-nourished women increased from 16 to 21, while the
number of malnourished women decreased from 7 to 2. Improvements in SF36 scores were seen in all
aspects except general health, which declined (p > 0.05). Statistically significant (p < 0.05) improvements
were seen for role physical, vitality, social functioning and role emotional. The median number of
minutes of physical activity per week was highest at diagnosis and declined after that.
Conclusions: This study indicates the importance of assessing nutritional status at diagnosis for women
with gynaecological cancer.
gynaecological cancer, nutrition, physical activity, quality of life