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Nutrition services during prostate cancer androgen deprivation therapy
  1. Brenton Baguley1,
  2. Caity Smith-Gillis2,
  3. Judi Porter1,
  4. Nicole Kiss1 and
  5. Anna Ugalde3
  1. 1Deakin University, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Brenton Baguley, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia; b.baguley{at}


Objective Dietary interventions are effective strategies to mitigate multiple side effects from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in prostate cancer, however the perception of, and access to, nutrition services is relatively unknown.

Methods A qualitative study using semistructured, audio recorded interviews was conducted in men with prostate cancer treated with ADT for ≥3 months. Interviews explored (1) side effects of ADT and drivers for dietary change, (2) accessibility, barriers, facilitators and use of nutrition services and (3) the preferences for nutrition service delivery. Data were coded using interpretative descriptive techniques of textual interview data, and systematically summarised to generate thematical patterns, using NVivo software.

Results Interviews were completed of 20 men with prostate cancer treated with ADT (25.5±20.1 months). Thematic analysis revealed four overarching themes—(1) the changes from ADT: men revealed that weight gain, loss of muscle and strength from ADT were daily struggles that negatively impact body image and components of masculinity reduced; (2) strategies to take control: several dietary changes were trialled and restrictive in foods and nutrients. Barriers to accessing nutrition specialists were the cost for the service and absence of a clear referral pathway; (3) importance of nutrition knowledge: demand for specialised nutrition services with knowledge in addressing side effects from ADT; (4) diverse patients need diverse nutrition support: that includes peer or partner support, and technology supported nutrition content.

Conclusion Evidence-based nutrition services are an unmet need for men treated with ADT. Future work is required to develop services that can be readily available and accessible to improve prostate cancer survivorship care.

  • prostate
  • quality of life
  • supportive care
  • survivorship

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors BB is the principal investigator and content guarantor. All investigators contributed equally to the design of study. BB and CS-G conducted the interviews. BB prepared and coded the interview responses. All codes and themes were discussed with AU overseeing the analysis process. BB drafted the manuscript, and all authors reviewed the manuscript. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet the authorship criteria.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.