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Assessing the dietetic needs of different patient groups receiving enteral tube feeding in primary care

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Abstract Aim

To examine the nature of all contacts between adult tube-fed patients and the dietetic service and to refine the current dietetic protocols to reflect the findings of the study with a view to improving patient care. Methods

All adult patients referred to the Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service within a 6-month period were included in the study. Using a proforma developed from a retrospective case-note analysis, data were collected on the complications that prompted more frequent contacts than the department protocol. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Results

The most common indication for home enteral feeding in this group of adult patients was a swallowing disorder resulting from a cerebrovascular accident (59.5%) followed by cancer (21.5%). There was a trend for cancer patients to need more intervention compared with those patients with other medical conditions. A significant difference was observed in the total contacts and telephone calls given to those patients in there own homes (P=0.019) and there was a trend towards more domicilary visits with this group. Conclusions

The department protocols have been revised to include a planned review within 2–6 weeks of initial dietetic assessment in the community for those patients who were identified to have the greatest need. More intensive dietetic monitoring has clear implications for dietetic services in the community.

Keywords: follow-up; home enteral tube feeding

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Community Nutrition and Dietetics Service, North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, Belfast, UK, 2: Institute of Post Graduate Medical and Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Belfast, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2002


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