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Keywords

caregivers, children, enteral nutrition, gastrostomy, PEG, quality of life, tube feeding

 

Authors

  1. Matuszczak, Ewa MD, PhD
  2. Hermanowicz, Adam MD, PhD
  3. Klek, Stanislaw MD, PhD
  4. Komarowska, Marta MD
  5. Pawlowska, Dorota MSc
  6. Zoubek-Wojcik, Agata MD
  7. Rysz-Bracha, Agata MD
  8. Marcinkowska, Agnieszka MD
  9. Milewski, Robert MD, PhD
  10. Debek, Wojciech MD, PhD

Abstract

Gastrostomy is recommended to parents and children as the most appropriate method of long-term nutritional support. The objective of this study was to describe daily functioning of both caregivers and their children with gastrostomy tube. Using a semistructured questionnaire, this descriptive study examined perceptions of feeding and adherence to feeding recommendations for caregivers of children with neurological disabilities and gastrostomy tube. The questionnaire covered various aspects of child's gastrostomy care, ranging from changing buttons, method of feeding, tolerance of diet, and problems with the gastrostomy site and device to how gastrostomy feeding has affected their lives. Parents and carers of 44 children completed a questionnaire. Children in the study (n = 44) had had a gastric tube in place for at least 1 month, and children with cerebral palsy had been assessed at level V of the Gross Motor Function Classification System. Most caregivers reported improvement in the children following placement and significant improvements in their own social functioning. Carers reported a significant reduction in feeding times, increased ease of drug administration, and reduced concern about their child's nutritional status. Most caregivers reported a beneficial effect on their children of the gastrostomy feeding tube placement-improved nutrition and decreased health complications. Consistent with prior research, this study found that the majority of caregivers were satisfied with the gastrostomy tube placement results and felt the improvement in the quality of their life.