Less stress after gastrostomy tube placement

It has been said that it is easier to feed a child with a gastrostomy tube (GT) than by mouth.  Now a study reports improved maternal stress after GT placement (JPGN 2012; 55: 562-66), perhaps because it is easier to provide nutrition.

34 mothers from Norway took part in questionnaires (before, 6 months after, and 18 months after) as part of a study (2003-2005) to see how gastrostomy placement in a child affects maternal stress levels.  Median maternal age was 32 years.  The study was limited by a suboptimal response rate of 59% (34 of 59) and only 19 mothers answered questionnaires at all 3 timepoints.

While all of the children had some peristomal complications, 85% of the mothers reported that their preoperative expectations were met and that their child had improved quality of life.  Mothers had reduced psychological  distress at 6 and 18 months following placement, including less anxiety.

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