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Advancing the conversation around blended diets for gastrostomy-fed children
  1. Christopher Bakewell,
  2. Akshay Batra,
  3. R Mark Beattie
  1. Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Southampton Children's Hospital, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr R Mark Beattie, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, Hampshire, UK; mark.beattie{at}uhs.nhs.uk

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The decision to start home-blended feeds in gastrostomy-fed children can feel controversial. Blending home-prepared foods for administration through a gastrostomy tube, while logical in many ways, has been constrained by a lack of safety and efficacy data in comparison to decades of ‘real-world experience’ with enteral formulae. As a result, professional bodies such as the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, while encouraging dietitians to support those home-blending, have stopped short of recommending its routine use.1 2 Despite this, increasing numbers of families are now choosing to give their tube-fed children home-blended food and standardised support may not be available for all.

We therefore welcome the publication of data from the YourTube study. This prospective, multicentre cohort study of 180 gastrostomy-fed children in the UK (104 home-blended diets, 76 exclusive sterile formula at baseline) provides the largest body of evidence to date on the safety and efficacy of home-blended feeding.2 3

In their primary outcome, they demonstrated that home-blended feeding was associated with a significantly improved Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Gastrointestinal Symptom Score, representing a lower symptom burden. This improvement was seen at baseline, 12- and 18-month follow-up; with the follow-up data published in this issue.3 Baseline data, sustained at follow-up, reported significantly fewer symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, retching and gagging in children receiving home-blends. No significant differences were observed in symptoms of stomach discomfort, trouble swallowing, heartburn and reflux or nausea and vomiting between groups.3

In their secondary outcomes, the authors report …

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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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