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Clinical trial

Home Jejunostomy Feeding Following Esophagectomy/Gastrectomy

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Last updated:28th May 2013
After surgery for oesophageal (gullet) or gastric (stomach) cancer, patients are routinely fed by means of a small feeding tube into the intestine (jejunostomy, JEJ) while they are in hospital. Current practice is to stop feeding once the patient leaves hospital, although the tube is left in place for the first 6 weeks. Most patients lose weight after surgery and have to learn to adjust to new eating habits and behaviours. A few patients have the JEJ feed restarted because of nutritional problems and this requires a further inpatient stay. It is unknown whether every patient would benefit from this type of feeding at home. Previous studies have only assessed the value of JEJ feeding while patients are still in hospital. There is little known about the benefit of continuing JEJ feeding after discharge from hospital, although home feeding is not uncommon in other patient groups (eg. after a stroke). The proposed study will provide initial information on patients' well being by measuring quality of life and factors such as change in body weight and dietary intake following a period of home JEJ feeding after surgery. Subjects recruited into the study will be placed, randomly, into a control group who receive current nutritional care (based on dietary advice and oral nutritional supplement drinks) or an intervention group who will receive home JEJ feeding for 6 weeks after hospital discharge, in addition to current treatment. If subjects in the control group are experiencing problems eating at home, home feeding through the JEJ tube will be started as needed. The study will also examine how surgery and JEJ feeding at home impact on the patient and carer(s) by means of questionnaires and interviews conducted in the patients' home. Information obtained will assist in the design of a multicentre study. This intervention is considered important because it has the potential to benefit thousands of patients each year at a modest cost.
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Study start date 2013-05-28

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