Nutritional screening in a cancer prehabilitation programme: A cohort study

Sorrel T. Burden, Neil Bibby, Kirsty Donald, Kellie Owen, Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves, Chloe French, Loraine Gillespie, Jack Murphy, Sarah Jayne Hurst, Robert Mentha, Karly Baguley, Ash Rowlands, Karen McEwan, Zoe Merchant, John Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancer patients are often malnourished pre-operatively. The present study aimed to establish whether current screening was appropriate for use in prehabilitation and investigate any association between nutritional risk, functionality and quality of life (QoL). Methods: This cohort study used routinely collected data from September 2020 to August 2021 from patients in a Prehab4cancer programme. Included patients were aged ≥ 18 years, had colorectal, lung or oesophago-gastric cancer and were scheduled for surgery. Nutritional assessment included Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) Short-Form and QoL with a sit-to-stand test. Association between nutritional risk and outcomes was analysed using adjusted logistic regression. Results: From 928 patients referred to Prehab4Cancer service over 12 months, data on nutritional risk were collected from 526 patients. Pre-operatively, 233 out of 526 (44%) patients were at nutritional risk (score ≥ 2). During prehabilitation, 31% of patients improved their PG-SGA and 74% of patients maintained or improved their weight. Odds ratios (OR) with confidence intervals (CI) showed that patients with better QoL using EuroQol-5 Dimensions (OR = 0.05, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.45, p = 0.01), EuroQol Visual Analogue Scale (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.93, 1.00, p = 0.04) or sit-to-stand (OR = 0.96, 95% 0.93, 1.00, p = 0.04) were less likely to be nutritional at risk. Conclusions: Almost half of patients in Prehab4Cancer programme assessed using PG-SGA were at risk of malnutrition. However, almost half of the sample did not have their risk assessed. Patients at risk of malnutrition were more likely to have a poorer QoL and sit-to-stand test than those who were not at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalJournal Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number2
Early online date4 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2023


  • cancer
  • cellular and physiological function
  • disease/therapeutic areas
  • malnutrition
  • quality of life


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