Factors contributing to the preferred method of feeding in end‑stage dementia: a scoping review

Newman, Roger D., Ray, Robin, Woodward, Lynn, and Glass, Beverley (2020) Factors contributing to the preferred method of feeding in end‑stage dementia: a scoping review. Dysphagia, 35. pp. 616-629.

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Dementia is reported to be the overall fourth leading non-communicable cause of death, and accounted for almost two million deaths worldwide (3.5% of the total number) in 2016. Dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia secondary to dementia are the two most serious comorbidities. As the dementia progresses and the severity of an individual's dysphagia increases, the question of whether to commence an artificial nutrition or allow a person to continue to eat and drink orally is raised, both having associated risks. The purpose of this study was to establish current perspectives regarding the method(s) of feeding being used or preferred, once an individual with dementia has reached the end stages of the disease and is unable to swallow safely and efficiently, and ascertain the reasons for the choice made. An online search was completed, and articles published in English available up to April 2018 were considered for inclusion. Hand searching inclusive of the grey literature was also completed to obtain the maximum amount of relevant information. The total yield numbered 1888 studies, and following exclusions, full text studies deemed suitable for review amounted to 18. Themes were generated during the review process, relevant information was extracted, and six main themes emerged: feeding method; aspiration pneumonia; mortality; malnutrition; ethical considerations, and religion. The review indicated that the preferred method of feeding in end-stage dementia was artificial nutrition, in most cases via percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. However, despite the perceived advantage of providing artificial nutrition, no convincing evidence was found to support the use of tube feeding in end-stage dementia. In fact, initiating tube feeding was considered to have adverse effects such as aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition and expedited death. Longitudinal research regarding current practice is therefore indicated to establish an optimal procedure for individuals with end-stage dementia and dysphagia.

Item ID: 60641
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0460
Keywords: Dementia, Deglutition, Pneumonia, Malnutrition, Mortality
Copyright Information: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 23:45
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420316 Palliative care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920112 Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Ageing @ 70%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920211 Palliative Care @ 30%
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