Aim: This purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the appetite and various factors that are associated with particle beam therapy, including the adverse effects of radiation, dry-mouth period, analgesic medication use, frequency of oral care, and participants' characteristics, in 121 patients with head and neck cancer.
Methods: A path analysis was used to evaluate the causal relationship of the factors that affected the participants' appetite.
Results: At a cumulative dose of 40 GyE, the factors that impacted the participants' appetite included xerostomia, oral mucositis, age, frequency of oral care, and analgesic medication use. At a cumulative dose of 50 GyE, the factors that affected the participants' appetite were xerostomia, sensitivity to taste, oral mucositis, dry-mouth period (in the morning), frequency of oral care, number of artificial teeth, and analgesic medication use. The results indicate that interventions to avoid appetite suppression during particle beam therapy will differ according to a radiation schedule of 40 GyE, compared to 50 GyE.
Conclusions: These results are important to consider when deciding how best to maintain the dietary intake of patients who are receiving particle beam therapy.