OBJECTIVES: To understand taste and smell alterations (TSAs) and their relationship with quality of life among women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. SAMPLE & SETTING: A descriptive correlational study was conducted with 121 women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy, and data were collected through an online survey. METHODS & VARIABLES: The Taste and Smell Survey was used to measure TSAs, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Breast was used to measure quality of life. RESULTS: More than half of the participants experienced severe TSAs. The longest-lasting taste after the start of chemotherapy was a bitter taste, and participants experienced it more strongly after starting chemotherapy than before. The more severe the TSAs, the lower the overall quality of life, particularly physical well-being and functional well-being. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Nurses should be vigilant about whether people with cancer receiving chemotherapy are experiencing TSAs. It is recommended to educate women in this population about avoiding bitter foods and foods with strong smells. Providing information about TSAs before treatment can help people with cancer cope.
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- breast cancer
- quality of life
- smell alteration
- taste alteration