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  1. Eisenberg, Patti MSN, RN, CS


Many healthcare providers associate enteral tube feedings with diarrhea. Research suggests an incidence of diarrhea in patients receiving enteral tube feedings of 2% to 63%. This wide variation in incidence is due, in part, to the lack of a universal definition of diarrhea and other suspected factors that influence stool output such as malabsorption, infection, bacterial contamination of the feeding, medical diagnosis of the patient, medication therapy, or formula-related causes. An understanding of digestion, the role of fiber and fat in the diet, and the control for other influences will aid nurses in identifying interventions that promote a normal stool consistency in patients receiving enteral tube feedings. The need for further research regarding the causes and management of diarrhea is also supported.