Assessment of Nutritional Status in Cancer Patients in Osijek Health Area Center
The aim of this research was to perform the nutritional screening and clinical assessment of malnutrition and of cachexia as well as the need for enteral nutritional support. We used an international questionnaire for nutrition screening and clinical assessment of malnutrition. 103 cancer patients participated in the research. The results indicate that 80 patients (78%) have recently unintentionally lost weight in the last six months. Of those 80 patients 12 (15%) have lost more than 15 kilograms. Three patients (3%) suffer from hunger because of their inability to eat. Presence of multiple (3 or more) symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or anorexia) was reported by 11 patients (11%). Severe work dysfunction was found in 28 patients (27%). 14 patients (14%) experience significant loss of musculature (musculus quadriceps femoris, musculus deltoideus). The obtained results indicate that 15 patients (14%) are severely, and 39 patients (38%) are moderately undernourished. This survey confirmed the significance of nutritional screening in cancer patients, as it detected 30 patients (29%) who required introduction of enteral nutrition.