Patients' experiences with home parenteral nutrition: a literature review

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this review is to summarise the literature relating to patients' experiences with home parenteral nutrition (HPN).

Method

This literature review is based on searches of CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Knowledge and Web of Science for articles published between 1970 and 2013. Additional studies were included from Department of Health publications, NICE clinical guidance, UK patient support group with interests in HPN or intestinal failure (IF).

Results

Patients with severe IF have been successfully treated with HPN since the 1970s. Early published studies evaluated clinical outcomes such as catheter-related infections, metabolic complications, thrombosis of the catheterised vein and liver impairment. Since the 1980s questionnaire studies were used to evaluate the quality of life (QoL) of patients treated with HPN. These early studies used QoL assessment tools which were not validated for patients treated with HPN. Internationally, there were published qualitative research studies which explored the experiences of patients treated with HPN.

Conclusions

The long-term outcome of patients treated with HPN continues to attract research interest. The review of the literature did not identify any published qualitative studies on the experiences of patients treated with HPN in the UK, suggesting a gap in the research. The UK National Health Service advocates a patient-centred approach for service design and delivery in primary and secondary care. This literature review has highlighted opportunities for qualitative research into the experiences of patients living with HPN to achieve better understanding and awareness of the rehabilitation of these patients.

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