Exercise and nutrition interventions in patients with head and neck cancer during curative treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNutrients. 2020, 12:3233 (11), 1-24. 10.3390/nu12113233
The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the effects of nutritional and physical exercise interventions and interventions combining these interventions during radiotherapy treatment for patients with head and neck cancer on body composition, objectively measured physical function and nutritional status. Systematic electronic searches were conducted in MEDLINE (PubMed interface), EMBASE (Ovid interface), CINAHL (EBSCO interface) and Cochrane Library (Wiley interface). We identified 13 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that included 858 patients. For body composition, using only nutrition as intervention, a significant difference between treatment and control group were observed (SMD 0.42 (95CI 0.23–0.62), p < 0.001). Only pilot RCTs investigated combination treatment and no significant difference between the treatment and control groups were found (SMD 0.21 (95CI −0.16–0.58), p = 0.259). For physical function, a significant difference between treatment and control group with a better outcome for the treatment group were observed (SMD 0.78 (95CI 0.51–1.04), p < 0.001). No effects on nutritional status were found. This meta-analysis found significantly positive effects of nutrition and physical exercise interventions alone in favor of the treatment groups. No effects in studies with combined interventions were observed. Future full-scaled RCTs combining nutrition and physical exercise is warranted.