Nutrition in Palliative Care

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Nutrition is an essential component of health and development. In palliative and end of life care where individuals’ health is compromised, nutritional interventions should be prioritized as an integral component of care.

Holdoway (2022) identifies the issues, perceptions, and opportunities to improve care for patients through nutritional interventions. The author argues that understanding the stage that an individual lies in their journey helps determine how nutritional support should be provided. Depending on one’s condition, symptom and treatment profiles can adversely affect nutritional status resulting in conditions such as cachexia and reduced overall quality of life.

Holdoway suggests the following practical ways to improve palliative care through nutrition:

Palliative care is focused on providing holistic care that improves the quality of life of individuals and families. Therefore, when diet related concerns in the palliative settings are not properly assessed and addressed, they can become a significant source of distress (Holdoway, 2022).

Source: Holdoway A. Nutrition in palliative care: issues, perceptions and opportunities to improve care for patients. Br J Nurs. 2022 Nov 24;31(21):S20-S27.