Background: Physician practice patterns regarding diagnosis and management of malnutrition in the head and neck cancer patient population are not well studied. Methods: A 17-question survey was distributed to 1392 members of the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS). The impact of hospital type, fellowship training, experience, and specialty was assessed. Results: Among AHNS members, there were 124 total respondents (9% response rate), including both otolaryngologists and radiation oncologists. Respondents strongly agreed (90%) that malnutrition negatively impacts patient outcomes. The majority (63%) felt comfortable screening for malnutrition, but 13% reported no routine assessment of malnutrition; 57% were unfamiliar with relevant guidelines. Barriers to screening included lack of familiarity with screening tools/guidelines, lack of time, and lack of access to dietitian. Conclusion: Although there was a strong consensus among respondents that the identification and management of malnutrition among head and neck cancer patients is critical, familiarity with relevant guidelines was poor.
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