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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2004 Dec;46(12):796-800.

Impact of gastrostomy tube feeding on the quality of life of carers of children with cerebral palsy.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK. peter.sullivan@paediatrics.ox.ac.uk


The aim of this prospective cohort study was to evaluate the impact of gastrostomy tube feeding on the quality of life of carers of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Short-Form 36 version II was used to measure quality of life in carers of 57 Caucasian children with CP (28 females, 29 males; median age 4y 4mo, range 5mo to 17y 3mo) six and 12 months after insertion of a gastrostomy tube. Responses were calibrated against a normative dataset (Oxford Healthy Life Survey III). Six months after gastrostomy feeding was started, a substantial rise in mean domain scores for mental health, role limitations due to emotional problems, physical functioning, social functioning, and energy/vitality were observed. At 12 months after gastrostomy placement, carers reported significant improvements in social functioning, mental health, energy/vitality (mean increase >9.8 points;p<0.03), and in general health perception (mean increase 6.35 points;p=0.045) compared with results at baseline. Moreover, the values obtained for these domains at 12 months were not significantly different from the normal reference standard. Carers reported a significant reduction in feeding times, increased ease of drug administration, and reduced concern about their child's nutritional status. This study has demonstrated a significant, measurable improvement in the quality of life of carers after insertion of a gastrostomy feeding tube.

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