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Importance of nutrition and physical activity for cancer patients and their caregivers

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It is well known that a healthy diet and physical activity are beneficial for cancer survivorship. However, supporting the physical and dietary health of caregivers of cancer patients is equally important and often overlooked. There is significant evidence that physical activity and eating a healthy diet are beneficial for both cancer patients. When their caregiver. A recently published study, led by researchers at the Drexel University School of Nursing and Health, explored physical activity- and nutrition-related beliefs, behaviors, and challenges in cancer patients and their caregivers, and investigated health interventions for both groups. provided information about the future development of

was announced in rehabilitation oncologythis study revealed similarities in the beliefs of cancer patients and their caregivers about the importance of physical activity and the barriers they face in participating in physical activity.

Study participants answered surveys and interviews about the importance of physical activity for stress management, but caregivers also tended to focus more on the patient’s activity needs than on the patient’s own activity. Patient-caregiver pairs reported similar barriers to physical activity, including fatigue and time constraints. The research team noted that the benefits of exercise for fatigue management and mental health continue to be of significant educational interest and need among patients and caregivers.

“Our findings suggest that patient-caregiver pairs need to engage in research and interventions together. Because it helps.” University and lead author of the study.

Although patients and caregivers agree on physical activity, they often have contrasting dietary priorities because of their different nutritional-related priorities. Patients reported trying to maintain or gain weight, whereas the likelihood was significantly higher.However, when patients had decreased taste and appetite due to treatment, patients When Caregivers often ate food that was comforting and palatable. Interventions for both patients and caregivers should also provide strategies for maintaining individual nutrition-related goals in the face of conflicting priorities between patients and caregivers, the research team said. pointed out.

“Future research is needed to develop dyadic (patient caregiver) interventions that address the unique needs of each while capitalizing on the influential roles each member of the pair has,” Milliron said. says.

Dr. Jonathan Deutsch, co-author and professor in the University’s Department of Food and Hospitality Management, states that while patients and caregivers have different needs, priorities, and preferences, high levels of stress, fatigue, and exhaustion are common. He added that he found a point. Tendency to make choices that are convenient but not necessarily nutritious.

“Our findings highlight the importance of culinary nutrition that can provide convenient and palatable solutions to individual needs,” says Deutsch. I want to learn techniques, strategies and recipes.”

Milliron pointed out that nutritional interventions should focus on addressing barriers to healthy eating such as fatigue, lack of time, and managing the complex dynamics of cancer patient care. those recommendations.

In a mixed methods study, 102 participants (50 cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment and 52 caregivers) completed surveys and in-depth interviews. The survey collected information on participants’ demographic and personal characteristics, cancer and caregiving characteristics, pre- and post-diagnosis activities and eating behaviors, and factors influencing those behaviors. Additionally, participants were asked about their preferences for physical activity and dietary interventions. Interviews further explored participants’ physical activity and nutrition-related beliefs, behaviors and challenges, and changes since diagnosis. Participants were recruited through a partnership with the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Pennsylvania.

This project was funded by the Health Research Formula Fund of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.