DOI: 10.3390/nu16010056 ISSN: 2072-6643

A Systematic Review of Dietary Interventions for Cancer Survivors and Their Families or Caregivers

Jingle Xu, Rebecca L. Hoover, Nathaniel Woodard, Jennifer Leeman, Rachel Hirschey
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Family or caregiver engagement has the potential to support healthy dietary changes among cancer survivors. However, little is known about these family- or caregiver-involved dietary interventions and their effects. This systematic review aimed to identify the behavior change techniques (BCTs) used in dietary interventions for cancer survivors and their families or caregivers and to synthesize intervention effects on dietary and health outcomes. Following the PRISMA guidelines, we conducted systematic searches in three databases and identified 12 trials (16 peer-reviewed manuscripts) for inclusion in this review. Data were extracted from these manuscripts and the BCT taxonomy was used to identify the BCTs. A total of 38 BCTs were identified from 12 trials, 13 of which were used in at least half of the 12 trials. Ten studies reported significant intervention effects on health outcomes (e.g., adiposity) and six suggested significant improvements in dietary behaviors (e.g., fruit and vegetable intake). Overall, this review found that family- or caregiver-involved interventions for cancer survivors significantly improved dietary and health outcomes. Future research should identify BCTs particularly for dietary changes and develop effective dyadic strategies to facilitate diet-related interactions between survivors and their families or caregivers to enhance their engagement in healthy diets.

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