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 [F] Diseases Research  / PubMed Research Articles  /
Nutrition Literacy among Cancer Survivors: Feasibility Results from the Healthy Eating and Living Against Breast Cancer (HEAL-BCa) Study: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.




Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education 2017 Jun 18; ()


Parekh N1; Jiang J2; Buchan M3; Meyers M4; Gibbs H5; Krebs P6;

Author Information
  • 1College of Global Public Health, New York University, 715-719 Broadway, Room 1220, New York, NY, 10003, USA. Niyati.parekh@nyu.edu.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
  • 3Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Food and Nutrition Services, New York, NY, USA.
  • 4Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.
  • 5Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.
  • 6Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Knowledge of nutrition among breast cancer patients is insufficient, despite their motivation to seek valid information about healthy food choices. This study examines the feasibility of nutrition education workshops for cancer survivors, to inform the design of a multi-center intervention. Fifty-nine female English-speaking breast cancer patients, who had completed treatment, were enrolled. Participants were randomized to the intervention or control group. The intervention group attended six nutrition education sessions, and the control group received brochures. Measurements were done at baseline and 3-month follow-up and included the Assessment Instrument for Breast Cancer (NLit-BCa), fruit/vegetable and general health literacy screeners. Height and weight were measured. Changes in nutrition literacy, health literacy, and food intake from baseline to follow-up (within-group change) were calculated for both groups (effect sizes were reported as Cohen's d). Participants were mostly white, with a mean age of 58 years, BMI of 31.6 kg/m(2), and had college degrees. Follow-up rates were high (89% = control and 77% = intervention group). At baseline, participants scored high for most NLit-BCa assessment components except food portions in both groups. At the 3-month follow-up, effect sizes (d) on the NLit-BCa ranged from -0.5 to 0.16. The study met its recruitment goals within 6 months. Focus groups indicated that (a) attending six sessions was acceptable, (b) patients found social/emotional support, (c) improvements should include information for special diets and booster sessions. This pilot study suggests that the intervention was acceptable and that scaling up of this intervention is feasible and could provide benefit to breast cancer survivors.




Publication Type: Journal Article

This article is licensed under the the National Library of Medicine License. It uses material from the PubMed National Library of Medicine Data.

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