Geriatric nurses' attitudes towards the use of nasogastric feeding-tubes in demented patients

Orazio Zanetti, Angelo Bianchetti, Ermellina Zanetti, Eugenio Magni, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Marco Trabucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Geriatric nurses' attitudes towards the use of nasogastric feeding-tubes in severely demented patients were evaluated. A questionnaire was administered to 232 geriatric nurses asking whether they would favour enteral feeding for demented patients who were unable or refused to eat. The great majority of nurses (73.3%) were favourable; previous experience with nasogastric feeding-tubes and a moderate to high level of religiosity were both significantly associated with this attitude. For the great majority (70.6%) of those favourable the patient's mental status was immaterial to their attitude. Also irrelevant were patients' and/or caregivers' wishes and economic and quality of life issues. This survey suggests that the majority of nurses consider enteral feeding as an ordinary basic practice, disregarding the complexity of the problem, which needs an individualized, multifaceted approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996

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Keywords

  • Dementia
  • End-of-life decisions
  • Feeding tube
  • Medical ethics
  • Nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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