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Title: An investigation into maintaining naso-gastric feeding for stroke patients : a mixed methods design
Author: Mahoney, Catherine M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 5859
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2009
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Background: 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. Findings: 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. Conclusions: 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.
Supervisor: Alder, Beth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RT Nursing ; RC Internal medicine