An explorative study of the views and experiences of food and weight loss in patients with operable pancreatic cancer perioperatively and following surgical intervention

C. Cooper, S. T. Burden, Alexandros Molasiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Malnutrition and weight loss are highly prevalent in patients with pancreatic cancer. However, little is known about how patients experience such changes after completion of a surgery. The aim of this study was to explore the views and experiences about weight loss and food in patients with operable pancreatic cancer perioperatively and following surgical treatment. Methods: An exploratory study underpinned by hermeneutic phenomenological philosophy was conducted. Thirteen post-surgery patients with pancreatic cancer were recruited from a National Health Service (NHS) Trust in the north of England. Sampling was purposive and data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews. Each interview was digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using NVivo 8. Results: Six themes emerged from the data that represented the patients' views and experience of foods and weight loss after surgery: “struggling with weight loss”, “being pressured to eat”, “experiences with nutrition support therapy”, “perception of the role of the dietitians”, “lacking appropriate dietary instructions” and “road to recovery”. Conclusions: The study has found that sufficient dietary advice, appropriate nutrition support and patient self-management are significant factors that affect how people recover from surgery for pancreatic cancer. Further work is required to understand the nature and effect of weight loss in surgical patients with pancreatic cancer and the role of food in their weight management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1033
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Appetite
  • Nutrition
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Qualitative research
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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