Information Needs around Parenteral nUTrition in cancer: INPUT


Session type:

Jennifer McCracken1, Lucy Eldridge1, Angela Halley1, Sally Wheelwright2, Jane Hopkinson3, Sam H Ahmedzai4, Adrian Tookman5, John Louis-Auguste6, Rebecca Harmston7, Deb Smith7, Clare Shaw1
1Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, 2University of Southampton, 3Cardiff University, 4University of Sheffield, 5Marie Curie, 6St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, 7Other



Parenteral nutrition (PN) is a nutritional liquid which is delivered intravenously. Patients with advanced cancer may require PN if they have a non-functioning gastrointestinal tract. This may be due to malignant bowel obstruction, short bowel following surgery, radiation enteritis or high-output stoma. Although use of home PN is increasing among patients with advanced cancer, our review of the literature shows that little is known about the information people with advanced cancer, and their carers, need when deciding to commence or discontinue PN.



To determine the information needs of people with advanced cancer, and their informal carers, to enable them to participate in the decision-making process around commencing and discontinuing PN.

Study design

Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with people with advanced cancer, and their informal carers, who are considering, receiving or who have previously received PN. Purposive sampling will be used to recruit patients and carers from these groups. We aim to recruit adults representing a range of age groups from both genders, with different primary cancer sites. Carers must have supported someone with advanced cancer who has received PN within the last 12 months. 15 patients will be recruited from 4 recruiting centres in London, including intestinal failure centres and a tertiary cancer centre. 15 carers will be recruited through these recruiting centres and via social media advertisement.

Data collection

Interviews will be audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The lead researcher will keep field notes to aid subsequent analysis. Demographic and relevant medical information will be gathered from medical records with the patient’s consent.

Data analysis

Framework analysis will be conducted by the lead researcher throughout data collection. This will allow the researcher to determine if data saturation is reached prior to completion of all interviews. All transcripts will be coded by the lead researcher, with a second researcher coding 10% of transcripts to ensure rigour and consistency in the interpretation of the data. Common themes will be identified by grouping similar codes, allowing identification of further sub-themes. 


Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at NCRI conference 2022.



Impact statement