Use of PEG Tubes in the Cognitively Impaired Patient: Dispelling the Myths

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Abstract:

Difficulty eating is one of the markers of end-stage dementia and poses difficult care decisions for family members and health care providers. In particular, family members often struggle with the decision of whether to provide artificial nutrition via feeding tube. While it is important that surrogate decisionmakers be provided with information on the risks and benefits of artificial nutrition, studies have shown that many health care providers are misinformed about the rationale for recommending a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube. Current literature suggests that for the elderly patient with dementia there is little clinical evidence that artificial nutrition provides any benefit to the patient.
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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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