An Investigation into Maintaining Naso-gastric Feeding for Stroke Patients: A Mixed Methods Design.

Mahoney, Catherine M (2009) An Investigation into Maintaining Naso-gastric Feeding for Stroke Patients: A Mixed Methods Design. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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Dysphagia is common after stroke, so feeding through a naso-gastric (NG) tube may be necessary. NG tubes are frequently dislodged, potentially causing feed or fluids to enter the lungs. Interventions to prevent this include taping NG tubes to the face, hand mittens and nasal bridles.

Overall Aim
The aim of this study was to explore the opinions of staff, patients and relatives about the maintenance of NG tube feeding for stroke patients while investigating current clinical practice.

Research Design and Methods
A three-phased mixed method design was used. Phase 1 involved focus groups with multidisciplinary stroke unit staff (n=17); one-to-one interviews, with stroke patients (n=4) and relatives (n=6). Phase 2 incorporated a postal survey sent to a convenience sample (n=528) registered nurses working in the field of stroke across the UK. Phase 3 involved interviews with nurses (n=5) outside the speciality of stroke.

Phase 1 highlighted many categories, including: lack of protocols; ethical and legal concerns; training to insert NG tubes; patient dignity; patient autonomy and potential harms and benefits of interventions used. There were variations in the opinions of staff, patients and relatives concerning the effectiveness and acceptability of methods for securing NG tubes. Phase 2 achieved a response rate of 59% (n=314/528); 22% (n=68/312) of nurses used hand mittens, only 11% (n=34/312) used a protocol; 56% (n=176/314) of nurses had received formal training to insert an NG feeding tube, more senior nurses had been formally trained than junior nurses (p<0.005). Acceptability and effectiveness ratings for tube securing interventions varied: 50% (n=158/312) considered hand mittens to be unacceptable. However, from a total of n=92 responses about their effectiveness, 66% (n=61/92) felt they were effective. Phase 3 produced more detailed results about fear associated with NG feeding; inconsistent approaches to training and ethical and legal issues of patient restraint.

Overall this study demonstrates differences in opinion about what constitutes acceptable, effective and legal practice when maintaining NG feeding for stroke patients. It also suggests that the lack of consistent nurse training affects the standards of care patients receive. Furthermore, there is a need for more robust evidence to inform clinical practice. This study culminates in a model of nursing related to the insertion and maintenance of NG feeding for stroke patients.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stroke; Cerebro-vascular damage; Dysphagia; Naso-gastric feeding; Intubation; Tube positioning; Options; Patient interviews; Nurse surveys; Nurse interviews; Practice; Training; Ethics; Law;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 616 Diseases > 616.8 Nervous & mental disorders > 616.81 Stroke
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 610.7 Medical education, research & nursing > 610.73 Nursing
Library of Congress Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Item ID: 2744
Depositing User: Users 10 not found.
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2009 09:07
Last Modified: 09 May 2012 14:04

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