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The Effect of Enteral Tube Feeding on Patients’ Health-Related Quality of Life: A Systematic Review

1
Faculty of Education and Health, University of Greenwich, London SE9 2UG, UK
2
Rockfield Medical Devices, Galway H91 DCH9, Ireland
3
The School of Nursing, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051046
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
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Abstract

Patients with functional gastrointestinal tract who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements may benefit from the use of enteral nutrition via feeding tubes which could be nasogastric, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy and jejunostomy. Although enteral tube feeding has been shown to promote nutritional status, improve wound healing, and enhance patients’ quality of life (QoL), evidence of tube and feed complications and reduced QoL has also been reported. Despite the increasing prevalence of patients on enteral tube feeding, no systematic review examining the role of enteral tube feeding on patients’ QoL appears to have been published. Aim: The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the effect of enteral tube feeding on patients’ QoL. Method: Three databases (EMBASE, Pubmed, and PsycINFO) plus Google Scholar were searched for relevant articles based on the Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes (PICO) framework. The review was in line with preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and involved the use of synonyms and medical subject headings. In addition, search terms were combined using Boolean operators (AND/OR) and all the articles retrieved were exported to EndNote for de-duplication. Results: Fourteen articles which met the criteria were included and three distinct areas were identified: the effect of early versus late enteral tube feeding on QoL; the QoL of patients on gastrostomy versus standard care, and the effect of enteral tube feeding on QoL. Overall, nine studies reported improvement in the QoL of patients on enteral tube feeding, while five studies demonstrated either no significant difference or reduction in QoL. Some factors which may have influenced these outcomes are differences in types of gastrostomy tubes, enteral feeding methods (including time patients spent connected to enteral feed/pump), and patients’ medical conditions, as well as the generic and/or type of QoL measuring instrument used. Conclusion: Most reviewed studies suggest that enteral tube feeding is effective in improving patients’ QoL. The use of enteral tube feeding-specific QoL measuring instruments is recommended for future research, and improved management strategies including use of mobile enteral feeding pumps should further enhance patients’ QoL. More studies on the effect of delivery systems/enteral feeding pumps on QoL are needed as research in this area is limited. View Full-Text
Keywords: enteral nutrition; enteral tube feeding; Quality of life; QoL; home enteral nutrition; enteral feed; patients; systematic review enteral nutrition; enteral tube feeding; Quality of life; QoL; home enteral nutrition; enteral feed; patients; systematic review
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Ojo, O.; Keaveney, E.; Wang, X.-H.; Feng, P. The Effect of Enteral Tube Feeding on Patients’ Health-Related Quality of Life: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1046.

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