Importance of quality of life in people with dementia treated with enteral nutrition: the role of the nurse

  • Nicola Veronese | nicola.veronese1@aulss3.veneto.it National Research Council, Neuroscience Institute, Ageing Branch, Padova; Unità Locale Socio Sanitaria 3, Primary Care Department, Venice, Italy.
  • Serena Minto Relaxxi SRL, Noale, Venice, Italy.
  • Ornella Bonso School of Nursing, Padova University, Padova, Italy.
  • Andrea Merlo Management of Public and Health Organizations, Managing Director of Senior Care Residences in Venice, Italy.

Abstract

Nutritional problems are common in dementia and can lead to enteral nutrition, a nutritional treatment option in severe stages of dementia. However, the benefits of enteral nutrition in people with dementia are still weak. The decision to use artificial nutrition in these patients is often emotional and complex and the attitudes of health personnel (physicians and nurses) in this sense they are very different. The objective of this review is to show the role of enteral nutrition on quality of life in patients affected by dementia and the possible implications for practice and research, with a special focus on nurse role. We made a literature search in PubMed and Scopus, searching for studies dealing with enteral nutrition and quality of life in dementia. We were able to find only a few observational studies related to enteral nutrition and quality of life, with a lack in the scientific literature regarding the management of nutritional problems in dementia, particularly taking in account quality of life. Furthermore, by orienting the research on a possible role of nurses, there were limited studies on properly nursing aspects. From this work emerges the need for further research in this context for which the training and education of health personnel result of fundamental importance, with a view to improving the quality of life of the patients with dementia and their family.

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Published
2019-07-30
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Section
Reviews
Keywords:
Dementia, enteral nutrition, quality of life, nurse.
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How to Cite
Veronese, N., Minto, S., Bonso, O., & Merlo, A. (2019). Importance of quality of life in people with dementia treated with enteral nutrition: the role of the nurse. Geriatric Care, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gc.2019.8253