Assessing Food Related Anxiety in patients with Lung Cancer


Session type:

Iain Phillips1,Hannah Appleton2,Zari Bhatti2,Angus Lawson2,Adam Tobias2,Juliet Tyndall2,Lucas Watson2,Colin Barrie3
1Royal Surrey County Hospital,2University of Edinburgh,3Edinburgh Cancer Centre, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh



Lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer affecting both sexes in the UK. Weight loss is common and can be a predictor of survival. It occurs due to a combination of cachexia, malnutrition and sarcopenia. Food related anxiety frequently occurs secondary to this in patients and carers. Our research investigates food related anxiety and assesses whether dietary information could improve patient experience.



We designed a questionnaire designed with quantitative and qualitative aspects regarding weight and appetite change, anxiety about eating and sources of nutritional information. It was distributed to 36 lung cancer patients and their carers.


  • 72% of patients experienced weight loss or anxiety
  • 53% of patients experiencing weight loss experience food related anxiety
  • Carer anxiety reflects patient anxiety to a lesser degree. (48% vs 53%)
  • No patients that received dietary advice experienced severe anxiety. However, they experienced higher incidence of moderate anxiety.
  • Patients that had received dietary advice had a lower incidence of weight loss


Food related anxiety is prevalent in lung cancer patients and their carers. Dietary advice correlates with a reduction in severe anxiety and an increase in moderate anxiety and a lower incidence of weight loss. Further research is needed to assess whether dietetic support improves patient experience.