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Overcoming eating difficulties during chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment

I Grants Graphic

Professor Jane Hopkinson, Cardiff University
Start date: July 2018
Duration: 13 months 
Funded amount: £29,924


Eating problems are common in cancer. Cancer treatments can cause eating problems.

Cancer patients with eating problems have poor quality of life compared to those without eating problems. They also receive less treatment and have poorer survival.

Many people with cancer are dissatisfied with their nutritional care during treatment. There are some resources, which tell them what to eat. However, they also need to know how to overcome obstacles to eating. We know little about how best to help people manage the physical, emotional and social factors that can make eating difficult during cancer treatment. For example, how to adhere to advised nutritional intake.


To conduct research that can inform the content of a web resource, eat-CIT, that presents hints and tips for self-managing common eating problems experienced during chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy treatment.

The resource will help people to self-manage eating problems. It will facilitate problem-solving, partnership working with clinicians and behavioural change for best possible outcomes from cancer treatment.

Study question:

What are the practical, emotional and social factors affecting eating throughout chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy (systemic anti-cancer therapy) and how can they best be managed at home?


The project fits with the Welsh Cancer Plan for person-centred cancer care. It is embedded in a programme of work to improve nutritional care in cancer supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cancer & Nutrition Collaboration. This group of UK experts, who include Patient and Public representatives, will offer advice on methodology, methods and dissemination.