Patients living with home enteral tube feeding: Side effects, health-related quality of life and nutritional care

Kaisa Bjuresäter, Maria Larsson, Elsy Athlin, Gun Nordström


The aim of the study was to examine patients’ perceptions of side effects, health-related quality of life (HRQL), general health, and nutritional care among patients receiving home enteral tube feeding (HETF) at two occasions after discharge from hospital. Three questionnaires, one study-specific, the Short Form 12 (SF-12) and the Health Index (HI), were sent to patients with HETF (n=62) twice, two weeks after discharge from hospital and two months later. Forty patients responded two weeks after discharge and out of these 29 patients also responded after two months.  Data were collected in central Sweden from March 2006 to January 2010. Side effects were common at both points of data collection (70% of the patients after two weeks and 72% after two month). Patients using bolus feeding reported significantly fewer side effects than patients using intermittent feeding. HRQL and HI scores for the total group were low at both points of data collection. The bolus feeding group reported significantly higher physical HRQL and emotional HI than the intermittent feeding group did. Most patients were satisfied with the information and support they received from the health care team. This study has revealed that patients treated with HETF experienced side effects limiting their daily life to a great extent. Differences in HRQL related to feeding methods were found. Individualized support and regular controls are needed in order to meet patient needs. Bolus feeding may be a suitable feeding method to improve well-being.


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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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