Impact of Nutritional Status on the Quality of Life of Advanced Cancer Patients in Hospice Home Care


Background: Cancer patients frequently experience malnutrition and this is an important factor in impairedquality of life.
Objective: This cross-sectional study examined the association between global quality of life andits various subscales with nutritional status among 61 (33 females and 28 males) advanced cancer patients caredfor by selected hospices in peninsular Malaysia.
Methods: The Patient Generated-Subjective Global Assessment(PG-SGA) and the Hospice Quality of Life Index (HQLI) were used to assess nutritional status and quality oflife, respectively.
Results: Nine (14.7%) patients were well-nourished, 32 (52.5%) were moderately or suspectedof being malnourished while 20 (32.8%) of them were severely malnourished. The total HQLI mean score forthese patients was 189.9±51.7, with possible scores ranging from 0 to 280. The most problem areas in thesepatients were in the domain of functional well-being and the least problems were found in the social/spiritualdomain. PG-SGA scores significantly correlated with total quality of life scores (r2= 0.38, p<0.05),psychophysiological well-being (r2= 0.37, p<0.05), functional well-being (r2= 0.42, p<0.05) and social/ spiritualwell-being (r2= 0.07, p<0.05). Thus, patients with a higher PG-SGA score or poorer nutritional status exhibiteda lower quality of life.
Conclusion: Advanced cancer patients with poor nutritional status have a diminishedquality of life. These findings suggest that there is a need for a comprehensive nutritional intervention forimproving nutritional status and quality of life in terminally ill cancer patients under hospice care.