Taste changes can frequently be observed in oncological patients undergoing chemotherapy and are reported as being among the most distressing side effects, along with fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. The prevalence of taste changes have been reported in the range of 46%–77%. The aim of this descriptive study was to evaluate taste changes experienced by cancer patients who receive chemotherapy and associated factors with taste changes.
This is a descriptive a study. The sample of the study consisted of 154 patients who received chemotherapy at Gayrettepe Florence Nightingale Hospital during the period of February 2018 to July 2018. Data were collected by using the patient İnformation form and Chemotherapy-induced Taste Alteration Scale (CiTAS). Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Spearman Correlation analysis were used to evaluate the data.
The mean age of patients was 57,40±12,748 years, 62.3% of them were women, 43.5% of them were university graduates, 73.4% were married and 70.8% of them were employed in any job. According to CiTAS scores, the most discomfort in taste patients experienced was because of nausea, vomiting, odor disturbance and loss of appetite during the chemotherapy process. According to CiTAS score the least discomfort experienced by patients were tasting basic flavors including the taste of the sweet, salty, bitter flavors and the broth. As a result of the comparison of CiTAS score some sociodemographic and medical characteristics of patients, it was found that women experience more paraguzi and fantoguzi than men. As the age of the patients increased, the problems in taste were decreased. Patients who do not take other drugs than chemotherapy have fewer taste problems.
In conclusion, it is recommended to include changes in taste sensation along with other side effects in the evaluation of treatment-related processes of cancer patients, and to add practices related to management of taste changes in the care plan of the patients by taking into account the factors that may be associated with taste.
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.