Aims: To support provision of healthy lifestyle information tailored to survivors’ needs and preferences, this review maps adult cancer survivors’ needs, preferences, and experiences accessing dietary information post-treatment.
Methods: A scoping review of research published in the past decade was conducted using PRISMA-ScR guidelines. Seven databases were searched in June 2020. Studies were independently screened against eligibility criteria by two researchers. Data were charted using the Population-Concept-Context framework, and reviewed according to needs, preferences, and experiences.
Results: Of 15,973 articles identified, 57 met eligibility criteria. Studies most frequently included survivors of breast cancer (51%), persons aged 40+ years (95%), ≤5 years post-diagnosis (54%), and residing in North America (44%). Cancer survivors commonly identified a need for information regarding healthy eating, particularly practical skills, and for support in changing dietary behaviours. There was a preference for specific recommendations delivered via direct communication with healthcare professionals. In practice, survivors frequently reported receiving generic advice, limited dietary follow-up, and lack of referral to support. Unmet needs in healthcare settings led to dietary information-seeking elsewhere. In particular, social networks and online materials were identified as key references for information regarding nutrition-related complementary and alternative therapies. Personal beliefs and desire for active involvement in care motivated dietary information-seeking post-treatment. However, survivors frequently indicated difficulty identifying credible dietary information sources, especially online.
Conclusions: Cancer survivors’ experiences accessing dietary information post-treatment do not align with needs and preferences. Direct communication with healthcare professionals and support for dietary behaviour change are important and valued components of survivorship care. Less is known about survivors who are young adults, >5 years post-diagnosis, and living in rural areas.