Nutritional status of cancer outpatients using scored patient generated subjective global assessment in two cancer treatment centers, Nairobi, Kenya
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Background: Malnutrition is a universal problem in cancer patients renowned as an important factor for increased morbidity, decreased quality of life and high mortality. Early diagnosis of malnutrition risk through nutrition screening followed by comprehensive and timely interventions reduces mortality associated with malnutrition. The Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PGSGA) method has been proved efficient in identifying cancer patients with nutrition challenges and guiding appropriate interventions. However this tool has not been adopted in management of cancer patients in Kenya. The aim of the study was to assess and describe nutrition status of cancer outpatients receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital Hospital (KNH) and Texas Cancer Centre (TCC). Methods: The study adopted a hospital based descriptive cross sectional study. Cancer outpatients with confirmed stage 1–4 cancers, physically stable, aged 18 years and above and receiving cancer treatment were recruited and assessed using Scored PGSGA tool. Proportions, measures of central tendency and pearsons’ chi-quare test were used in statistical analysis. Results: Among the 471 participants assessed, 71.8% were female and 28.2% male. Most participants had stage 2, 3 and 4 cancers at 27.2%, 27.2% and 24.3% respectively. Highest proportion of participants had breast (29.7%) and female genital cancers (22.9%). Sixty nine percent of participants were well nourished (SGA-A), 19.7% moderately malnourished (SGA-B) and 11.3% severely malnourished (SGA-C) and this difference was statistically significant. The mean PGSGA score was 6.76 (SD 5.17). Based on the score, 33.8% of participants required critical nutrition care, 34. 8% symptoms management, 14.2% constant nutrition education and pharmacological intervention while 17.2% required routine assessments and reassurance. More (m;54.7%, f; 45.3%) males than females were severely malnourished(SGA-C) and this was statistically significant (P < 0.001).Prevalence of severe malnutrition was highest among participants with digestive organ cancers (49.1%) followed by those with lip cancer (17%) and the least prevalence reported in those with Karposi Sarcoma (0%). Most of stage 4 participants were moderately (37.5%) and severely (29.4%) alnourished. Conclusions: The Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment is able to identify cancer patients both at risk of malnutrition and those severely malnourished. It also provides a guideline on the appropriate nutrition intervention hence an important tool in nutrition management of cancer patients.