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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Sep;11(5):661-5. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32830a7099.

Quality of life and enteral nutrition.

Author information

  • Residenza Le Querce-Milano Due, Segrate, Italy. dottfb@tin.it



The quality of life is in essence, the patients' subjective view of their own health status and can add another dimension to the evaluation of a treatment as the enteral nutrition.The recent clinical investigations on this topic are critically summarized in this review.


Three areas of potential impact of enteral nutrition on quality of life of patients have been identified: elderly and neurological patients, cancer patients and patients with anorexia nervosa.A major problem is the difficulty to define quality of life, due to the holistic and subjective nature of this dimension. Moreover, many patients require help to complete the forms of the questionnaire. Finally, many factors besides the enteral nutrition can affect the quality of life of these patients, namely the basic condition and the primary disease of the patients.


Although the enteral nutrition often represents a life-saving procedure, this does not necessarily translate in an appreciation of a better quality of life by the patients.Additional factors as the gustatory deprivation and the loss of social contacts usually associated with eating and the frequent problems related to tube function and tube-feeding represent severe limitations to a good quality of life of these patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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