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Prevention of underfeeding during enteral nutrition after gastrectomy in adult patients with gastric cancer: an evidence utilization project.

BACKGROUND: Enteral nutrition is commonly used in patients with gastric cancer after a partial or full gastrectomy since it is safe to use and nutrient delivery is in line with human physiological characteristics. However, enteral feeding often leads to deficiency, when the actual intake of the patient is lower than the target demand, which seriously affects the recovery of patients.

OBJECTIVE: To implement the best practice for preventing and managing underfeeding during enteral nutrition, and to improve the nutritional status of patients with gastric cancer.

METHODS: The current study was conducted following the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System program. Phase one referred to the development of the project, consisting of the generation of the best evidence, mainly based on literature review and discussions within a panel of experts. Phase two was the implementation of the project, including baseline audit, training of enteral nutrition and change of clinical practice. Phase three was a postimplementation reaudit. The intake of enteral nutrition was observed in the first 3 days, and feeding intolerance of enteral nutrition was observed within the first week of enteral nutrition. Data were collected using self-designed questionnaires. The nutritional status of patients was measured using Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) at admission, and 1 week after surgery.

RESULTS: A total of 60 patients with gastric cancer and 10 registered nurses were enrolled in this study. The compliance rate for all audit criteria increased postimplementation. The feeding rate of enteral nutrition postimplementation was higher than the baseline audit on the third day, 54.29% (±12.01) vs. 42.89% (±10.63), and the incidence of underfeeding was lower (30%, n = 30) than the baseline audit (76.67%, n = 30). Furthermore, the feeding intolerance postimplementation (26.67%, n = 30) was lower than the baseline audit (76.67%, n = 30) within 1 week of enteral nutrition. The PG-SGA scores were not significantly different between the baseline audit and postimplementation on the day of admission, while the scores were lower postimplementation (12.90 ± 1.47) compared with the baseline audit (14.00 ± 1.82).

CONCLUSION: In this study, we performed an audit of the clinical nursing quality, which can guide nurses to accurately identify obstacles to the implementation of enteral nutrition, and standardize the implementation and management process, thereby improving the quality of nursing and the nutritional status of patients.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The evidence-based practice might optimize the enteral nutrition process, enhance the efficacy of enteral nutrition, and improve the nutritional status of patients. Medical staff should develop an individualized nutritional support protocol for patients based on the results of nutritional status assessments.

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