Oncologists' Attitudes and Practice of Addressing Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight Management With Patients With Cancer: Findings of an ASCO Survey of the Oncology Workforce

Jennifer A. Ligibel, Lee W. Jones, Abenaa M. Brewster, Steven K. Clinton, Larissa A. Korde, Kevin C. Oeffinger, Catherine M. Bender, Winston Tan, Janette K. Merrill, Sweatha Katta, Catherine M. Alfano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: Obesity and related factors have been linked to cancer risk and outcomes, but little information exists with regard to oncologists' attention to these issues as a part of clinical care. METHODS: Oncology providers actively caring for patients with cancer in the United States and internationally were asked to complete an online survey about practice patterns and perceptions with regard to obesity and weight management during and after active cancer treatment. RESULTS: Nine hundred seventy-one practicing oncology providers completed the survey. The majority of respondents indicated a belief that the evidence linking obesity to cancer outcomes was strong and that weight and related factors should be addressed as a part of cancer treatment. The majority of respondents also reported that they frequently assessed body weight and related factors as well as counsel their patients to exercise, consume a healthy diet, and lose weight, if applicable. However, referral to providers and programs to support weight loss and increased physical activity occurred less frequently, and a number of barriers were identified for the incorporation of weight management and physical activity programs in the treatment of patients with cancer. CONCLUSION: In a survey of oncology providers, attention to weight management, physical activity, and diet in patients with cancer was high during and after cancer treatment but often did not result in referrals to support lifestyle change. Future work is needed to support education and training of oncology providers to facilitate referrals and overcome barriers to implementation of weight management and physical activity programs for patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e520-e528
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy

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    Ligibel, J. A., Jones, L. W., Brewster, A. M., Clinton, S. K., Korde, L. A., Oeffinger, K. C., Bender, C. M., Tan, W., Merrill, J. K., Katta, S., & Alfano, C. M. (2019). Oncologists' Attitudes and Practice of Addressing Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight Management With Patients With Cancer: Findings of an ASCO Survey of the Oncology Workforce. Journal of oncology practice, 15(6), e520-e528. https://doi.org/10.1200/JOP.19.00124