The management of nutrition in palliative care


  • Padraig Dermot O'Hara Liverpool John Moores University



Palliative Care, Nutrition, Malnutrition, Cancer Cachexia


In order to improve quality of life, nutrition in palliative care should be one of the main goals when managing a patient’s care.  Malnutrition is a dominating factor when it comes to the palliative patient.  Poor nutrition can not only hinder the patient but also their families as they see changes in their loved ones.  The main aim of nutrition is to maximise food enjoyment and minimize food related discomfort. There are guidelines available for health care professionals to assist them in delivering high quality care to cancer and palliative patients.   Nurses and other healthcare professionals play a vital role in the management of nutrition by providing both physical and emotional support for both the patient and their families.  Ethical questions are also raised when it comes to artificial nutritional support which puts professionals, patients and family members in difficult positions. 

Author Biography

Padraig Dermot O'Hara, Liverpool John Moores University

I studied Adult Nursing at Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU) and graduated with a first class honours degree. My first clinical placement was in a hospice, which initiated my interest in palliative care.  Following this placement, I joined the bank in the hospice and worked as a healthcare assistant and currently as a registered nurse.  My full time post is in nephrology where I work closely with patients with end stage renal failure.  At times, some of the patients and their families decide to opt out of treatment and require palliative intervention.  The article I have written represents my current experience and interest in palliative care and highlights the challenges faced by patients, families and health care professionals.