Background: Studies on long-term feeding and eating outcomes in children requiring gastrostomy tube feeding (GT) are scarce. The aim of this study was to describe children with developmental or acquired disorders receiving GT and to compare longitudinal eating and feeding outcomes. A secondary aim was to explore healthcare provision related to eating and feeding.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study reviewed medical records of children in 1 administrative region of Sweden with GT placement between 2005 and 2012. Patient demographics, primary diagnoses, age at GT placement, and professional healthcare contacts prior to and after GT placement were recorded and compared. Feeding and eating outcomes were assessed 4 years after GT placement.
Results: The medical records of 51 children, 28 boys and 23 girls, were analyzed and grouped according to "acquired" (n = 13) or "developmental" (n = 38) primary diagnoses. At 4 years after GT placement, 67% were still using GT. Only 6 of 37 (16%) children with developmental disorders transferred to eating all orally, as opposed to 10 of 11 (91%) children with acquired disorders. Children with developmental disorders were younger at the time of GT placement and displayed a longer duration of GT activity when compared with children with acquired disorders.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates a clear difference between children with developmental or acquired disorders in duration of GT activity and age at GT placement. The study further shows that healthcare provided to children with GT is in some cases multidisciplinary, but primarily focuses on feeding rather than eating.
Keywords: enteral nutrition; feeding and eating disorders of childhood; gastrostomy; interdisciplinary; nutritional support; patient care teams; pediatrics; tube feeding.
© 2018 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.