Weight changes in oncology patients during the first year after diagnosis: a qualitative investigation of the patients’ experiences

Document first published:
Page updated:
, ,
Publication type:

Stamataki et al (2011) in their study examined cancer patients’ experiences with the physical manifestations of weight loss or gain, the consequence of these changes on their psychosocial life, and their self-management strategies.


Semi-structured interviews with 54 cancer patients were conducted longitudinally, starting 2 to 3 weeks after their diagnosis. Follow-up interviews were carried out at 3, 6, and 12 months after diagnosis. This study identified that for the interviewees, weight changes had complex implications for patients with cancer, extending beyond physical problems into psychosocial issues. The authors highlighted that for patients recovering from cancer, this acts as a constant reminder of the diagnosis and treatment. The authors also highlight the importance of nutritional psychosocial rehabilitation programs during the cancer trajectory.