Quality control of enteral nutrition therapy in cancer patients at nutritional risk

Ariana Lee, Ronaldo Sousa Oliveira Filho, Thais de Campos Cardenas, Gislaine Aparecida Ozório, Juliana Pereira Lima Gropp, Dan Linetzky Waitzberg


Introduction: Quality indicators in nutritional therapy (QINTs) allow for the practical assessment of quality in the management of enteral nutrition therapy (ENT) among hospitalized patients.

Objective: To control ENT quality in cancer patients at nutritional risk.

Methods: A prospective, observational study was performed with cancer patients over 19 years of age who had undergone exclusive ENT for at least 72 h. Nutritional Risk Screening was used to assess nutritional risk; in the presence of nutritional risk, the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) was used. Six QINTs were applied.

Results: Our study included 211 patients (mean age: 59 ± 10 years, 67.3% men). Most common cancer diagnoses were head and neck (68.2%) and gastrointestinal (18%). Nutritional risk was identified in 93.3% (n = 197) of patients; SGA identified malnutrition in 84.2% of patients (n = 166). ENT was used for 9.7 ± 7 days, presenting a daily deficit of -243.1 ± 141 ml of dietary volume, -363.3 ± 214.1 kcal, and -14.2 ± 8.41 g of protein. Three of the six QINTs were in accordance with the proposed goal: frequency of SGA application, calculations of nutritional needs, and frequency of diarrhea. Three of the six QINTs were in disagreement with the proposed goal: ENT infused volume exceeding 70% of prescribed volume, frequency of digestive fasting exceeding 24 h, and frequency of constipation. Prescriptions for anticholinergic drugs (p = 0.023) and diuretics (p = 0.007) were associated with diarrhea.

Conclusion: Nutritional risk and malnutrition are frequent among ENT cancer patients. Quality control in ENT was moderately impaired by episodes of fasting and intestinal motility disorders.

Palabras clave

Cancer. Quality indicators. Enteral nutrition. Malnutrition. Diarrhea. Constipation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20960/nh.721

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