Few UK dietitians trained on use of blended food in tube-fed children

Reuters Health Information: Few UK dietitians trained on use of blended food in tube-fed children

Few UK dietitians trained on use of blended food in tube-fed children

Last Updated: 2016-10-06

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most dietitians in the U.K. are unaware of professional guidelines on the use of blenderized food for tube feeding (BFTF), according to new findings.

The web-based survey also found most had not received training on BFTF.

Both the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition recommend against using BFTF, Dr. Konstantinos Gerasimidis of the University of Glasgow in the U.K. and colleagues note in their report, published online September 27 in Archives of Disease in Childhood. However, they add, there is "emerging interest" in the use of BFTF.

"Although no published data are there to suggest that use of blended foods for tube-fed children is increasing, anecdotal evidence and clinical experience suggest that more carers of children on long-term tube feeding are now interested in the use of blended feeds for tube feeding," Dr. Gerasimidis told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.

To examine dietitians' perceptions about BFTF, the researchers distributed a Web-based survey through the BDA's pediatric group. Seventy-seven dietitians and carers responded, just 19 of whom were aware of professional guidelines on BFTF.

Sixty-three respondents said they had not received training on BFTF. While 34 said they would not recommend BFTF and 11 said they would advise against it, 43 said they would recommend it as a supplement to commercial foods.

Forty-three of the survey respondents had experience with BFTF, and reported treating 93 patients in all. Fifty-nine had talked about using BFTF with a patient or caregiver. Forty-four said they would be comfortable supporting a patient on BFTF, while 57 said their perceptions about BFTF would change if evidence-based guidelines were available.

Top concerns dietitians raised about BFTF were nutritional inadequacy, tube blockages and increased risk of infection, but few had experienced these concerns in their own practice. The main benefits they cited were reduced reflux and vomiting and greater caregiver involvement.

"Future research should explore the efficacy, practicality, feasibility and effect on nutritional and clinical outcomes of BFTF compared with proprietary manufactured feeds designed for tube feedings," Dr. Gerasimidis said.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2dNixvA

Arch Dis Child 2016.

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