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Assessing the Need for a Dietitian in Radiation Oncology

Tracy K. Gosselin
Linda Gilliard
Rhonda Tinnen
CJON 2008, 12(5), 781-787 DOI: 10.1188/08.CJON.781-787

Nutritional care is an integral component of quality cancer treatment. Patients undergoing cancer therapy are at risk for developing a variety of side effects that impact their intake, absorption, and nutritional status. The issue becomes compounded in newly diagnosed patients who have preexisting poor nutritional status, comorbid diseases, mechanical obstruction, and metabolic abnormalities. Standards related to the role of dietitians are well defined in the literature and by the Joint Commission. The quality improvement project illustrated in this article clearly demonstrated the need for a dietitian in the radiation oncology clinic by using the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment.

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