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Title: A randomised controlled trial of six weeks of home enteral nutrition versus standard care after oesophagectomy or total gastrectomy for cancer: report on a pilot and feasibility study
Authors: Bowrey, David J.
Baker, Melanie
Halliday, V.
Thomas, A. L.
Pulikottil-Jacob, R.
Smith, Karen
Morris, Tom
Ring, Arne
First Published: 25-Nov-2015
Citation: Trials, 2015, 16 (1) : 531
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Poor nutrition in the first months after oesophago-gastric resection is a contributing factor to the reduced quality of life seen in these patients. The aim of this pilot and feasibility study was to ascertain the feasibility of conducting a multi-centre randomised controlled trial to evaluate routine home enteral nutrition in these patients. METHODS: Patients undergoing oesophagectomy or total gastrectomy were randomised to either six weeks of home feeding through a jejunostomy (intervention), or treatment as usual (control). Intervention comprised overnight feeding, providing 50 % of energy and protein requirements, in addition to usual oral intake. Primary outcome measures were recruitment and retention rates at six weeks and six months. Nutritional intake, nutritional parameters, quality of life and healthcare costs were also collected. Interviews were conducted with a sample of participants, to ascertain patient and carer experiences. RESULTS: Fifty-four of 112 (48 %) eligible patients participated in the study over the 20 months. Study retention at six weeks was 41/54 patients (76 %) and at six months was 36/54 (67 %). At six weeks, participants in the control group had lost on average 3.9 kg more than participants in the intervention group (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.6 to 6.2). These differences remained evident at three months (mean difference 2.5 kg, 95 % CI -0.5 to 5.6) and at six months (mean difference 2.5 kg, 95 % CI -1.2 to 6.1). The mean values observed in the intervention group for mid arm circumference, mid arm muscle circumference, triceps skin fold thickness and right hand grip strength were greater than for the control group at all post hospital discharge time points. The economic evaluation suggested that it was feasible to collect resource use and EQ-5D data for a full cost-effectiveness analysis. Thematic analysis of 15 interviews identified three main themes related to the intervention and the trial: 1) a positive experience, 2) the reasons for taking part, and 3) uncertainty of the study process. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that home enteral feeding by jejunostomy was feasible, safe and acceptable to patients and their carers. Whether home enteral feeding as 'usual practice' is a cost-effective therapy would require confirmation in an appropriately powered, multi-centre study. TRIAL REGISTRATION: UK Clinical Research Network ID 12447 (main trial, first registered 30 May 2012); UK Clinical Research Network ID 13361 (qualitative substudy, first registered 30 May 2012); NCT01870817 (first registered 28 May 2013).
DOI Link: 10.1186/s13063-015-1053-y
eISSN: 1745-6215
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015 Bowrey et al. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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