Background: Malnutrition has been significantly associated with poor clinical outcomes and decrease in quality of life among cancer patients. Palestine is witnessing an increasing trend of cancer incidence; however, little studies were conducted among cancer patients receiving chemotherapy further investigating malnutrition.
Aim: The study has been conducted to determine the relationship between nutritional status and quality of life of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in Al- Husain Governmental hospital in Biet Jala, Palestine.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study that included all the patients who received chemotherapy treatment at the chemotherapy unit in the hospital during the data collection period, the nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric measurements and biochemical data retrieved from the patients’ files. The clinical assessment of malnutrition was done using the subjective global assessment. The quality of life was assessed using EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3.
Results: A total of 100 patients were included in the final analysis; 79 females and 21 males. The results revealed that 25% of the patients were severely malnourished, 42% were mildly to moderately malnourished. There is a significant relationship between malnutrition and quality of life in the following domains: Physical functioning P<0.05, cognitive functioning P<0.01, and Fatigue P< 0.05.
Conclusion: Malnutrition has considerable prevalence among Palestinian cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and it is associated with poor quality of life. The results of the study highlighted the importance of nutritional support programs targeting the cancer patients aiming to build up their nutritional status and improve their quality of life.
Key words: cancer patients, chemotherapy, nutritional status, quality of life