Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Access to nutrition services and information after active cancer treatment: a mixed methods study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 22:53 authored by Brenton BaguleyBrenton Baguley, S Benna-Doyle, S Drake, A Curtis, J Stewart, J Loeliger
Purpose: Evidence-based guidelines for cancer strongly support nutrition and dietetic services for people with cancer and carers in order to improve patient-centred and health service outcomes. Access to nutrition services and information after completing active cancer treatment is relatively unknown in Australia. This study aimed to determine the availability, accessibility, barriers, and preferences to nutrition services and information after cancer treatment in Australia. Methods: Utilising mixed methods, people with cancer and carers completed a cross-sectional survey, and a sub-group of participants completed a semi-structured interview. The survey evaluated the availability of nutrition services, nutrition information searched, barriers, and preferences for nutrition information. Semi-structured interviews explored participant experience with nutrition services and information. Results: The 149 participants (including 10 carers) were predominately male and with a diagnosis of prostate cancer (63%). Overall, 23% of participants received nutrition information from a dietitian after cancer treatment. Participants (78%) indicated that accessing a nutrition specialist is the main barrier to receiving nutrition care after treatment. Most searched nutrition information on the internet (55%) and found the information easy to understand (89%), but conflicting (52%). Thematic analysis of interviews in fourteen cancer patients revealed three key themes pertaining to (1) preferred referral and timing of nutrition services, (2) lack of confidence in publicly available nutrition information, and (3) streamlining nutrition services for greater access. Conclusion: Access to a dietitian and evidence-based information after cancer treatment is limited for people with cancer and carers in Australia, despite the high interest and need for ongoing nutrition care. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Models of care evaluating the provision of appropriate nutrition care and information provision after cancer treatment are needed to address this unmet survivorship need.



Journal of Cancer Survivorship


United States







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal