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Impact of gastrostomy tube feeding on the quality of life of carers of children with cerebral palsy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2004

Peter B Sullivan
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, UK.
Edmund Juszczak
Affiliation:
Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, UK.
Allison ME Bachlet
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, UK.
Adrian G Thomas
Affiliation:
Booth Hall Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK.
Bridget Lambert
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, UK.
Angharad Vernon-Roberts
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, UK.
Hugh W Grant
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.
Muftah Eltumi
Affiliation:
Watford General Hospital, Watford, UK.
Nicola Alder
Affiliation:
Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, UK.
Crispin Jenkinson
Affiliation:
Health Services Research Unit, University of Oxford, UK.
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Abstract

The aim of this prospective cohort study was to evaluate the impact of gastrostomy tube feeding on the quality of life of carers of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Short-Form 36 version II was used to measure quality of life in carers of 57 Caucasian children with CP (28 females, 29 males; median age 4y 4mo, range 5mo to 17y 3mo) six and 12 months after insertion of a gastrostomy tube. Responses were calibrated against a normative dataset (Oxford Healthy Life Survey III). Six months after gastrostomy feeding was started, a substantial rise in mean domain scores for mental health, role limitations due to emotional problems, physical functioning, social functioning, and energy/vitality were observed. At 12 months after gastrostomy placement, carers reported significant improvements in social functioning, mental health, energy/vitality (mean increase >9.8 points; p<0.03), and in general health perception (mean increase 6.35 points; p=0.045) compared with results at baseline. Moreover, the values obtained for these domains at 12 months were not significantly different from the normal reference standard. Carers reported a significant reduction in feeding times, increased ease of drug administration, and reduced concern about their child's nutritional status. This study has demonstrated a significant, measurable improvement in the quality of life of carers after insertion of a gastrostomy feeding tube.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2004 Mac Keith Press

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