Appetite Assessment of Hospitalized Cancer Patients in Brazil – A Validation Study
OBJECTIVES: Appetite loss, a common symptom in cancer patients, contributes to worsened nutritional status. A validated specific tool to assess appetite is clinically useful for diagnosing and identifying symptoms and signs that could be reversed with nutritional and pharmacological therapies. The aim of this study is to produce a Brazilian Portuguese version of the Hill and Blundell visual analog scale (VAS) for appetite and investigate its validity among hospitalized cancer patients. METHODS: The original English VAS version was translated into Brazilian Portuguese in full accordance with the guidelines in the literature and adapted to the Brazilian context by conducting interviews and meetings with an expert committee until the final version was reached. Afterwards, the version was validated in hospitalized cancer patients in a cross-sectional study at Sa˜o Paulo Cancer Institute (ICESP), where the relationships between breakfast intake (rest-ingestion index) and VAS were compared. The Spearman test was used to verify the correlation between the rest-ingestion index and the VAS ratings. RESULTS: Sixty-four patients with a mean age of 56.1 (±12.3) years answered the Portuguese VAS version, and their breakfast intake was evaluated. The mean rest-ingestion index was 18.8%. The correlations between the rest-ingestion index (food acceptance) and three questions of the Portuguese visual analog scale version were inverse and significant: first question (r -0.3028 p=0.0046), second question (r -0.2317 p=0.0319) and third question (r -0.3049 p=0.0043). CONCLUSION: The ‘‘Appetite Assessment Scale of Brazilian Oncology Patients’’ is a valid instrument to assess appetite in hospitalized cancer patients in Brazil.