Introduction Many parents in the UK are giving home blended diets (BD) via a gastrostomy (G) device as an alternative to commercial feeds. There are several anecdotal reports suggesting benefits from using BD but there are few studies addressing the risks/benefits in the UK.
Methods and objectives We studies a group of G fed children before and after a change from commercial feeds to BD to to investigate the benefits and complications. In addition we compared two groups of children fed BD and commercial feeds and recorded complications and risks. We also have collected stool specimens to look at future microbiome analysis of the 2 groups and a third sibling control group (microbiome analysis not yet available).
Results Parents of 32 children (2–16 years) with neurodevelopmental problems receiving BD (>50% intake) completed a questionnaire detailing their experience before and after the institution of BD. There was no increase in complications in tube blockage or infection rates but a significant improvement (p<0.05) in the prevalence of bowel problems (vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation) including a reduction in medication and an increase in quality of life (improvement in general health and mood/overall comfort).
Conclusion The change to BD resulted in no increase in complications/risks but improved overall quality of life for the children and families.
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