Fernandes, Rita de Cassia de Souza; Spinelli, MÃ´nica GlÃ³ria Neumann
Introduction: Children with cancer have difficulties accepting food at the hospital environment, which may impact the recovery and softening of colateral effects as a result from the treatment. The gastronomy appears as a differential when adding dietotherapy and comfort food.
Objectives: To evaluate the perception of parents and guardians of children diagnosed with cancer regarding the diet offered in the hospital environment related to hospital gastronomy.
Methods: Cross-sectional study carried out in 2018 with application of a face-to-face and online questionnaire for those responsible for the children who received cancer treatment and fed in the hospital environment. The questions were: type of cancer; symptoms observed; flavor, temperature, quantity presentation and appearance of the meal served; food acceptance during and after hospitalization; adequacy of diet to dietary preferences and symptomatology.
Results: Seventeen family members participated. The average age of the children was 5.3 ± 2.7 years, 52.6% in cancer treatment, with leukemia being the most prevalent cancer (57.9%). The main symptoms were vomiting, nausea and anorexia (73%), taste change (63,2%) and xerostomia (52.6%). It has not been reported food presentation adaptation of aromatic herbs. The power supply offered in the hospital environment (The hospital food offered) influenced the exclusion of certain foods by 36.9% of participants, as well as the inclusion of unusual foods and never tasted for 36.9% and 47.1%, respectively. Food refusal was also observed in 52.9% of children. Only 20% of hospitals included regional preparations in menu.
Conclusions: Hospital gastronomy was not observed in the sample, however, it is a useful concept to align the expectations of all those involved in the therapy and the interest in the moment of the meal to adherence to nutritional treatment and to avoid impacts arising from oncological therapy.