Nasogastric Tube Feeding for Individuals With Anorexia Nervosa: An Integrative Review

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The use of nasogastric (NG) feeding in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) is endorsed by national professional organizations; however, no guidelines currently exist.


The objectives of this review were to identify and evaluate outcomes of NG feedings for individuals with AN and to develop recommendations for future research, policy, and practice.


An integrative review of the research literature was conducted.


Of the 19 studies reviewed, all indicated short-term weight gain following NG feeding. Four studies examined adherence; nearly 30% of subjects were nonadherent as evidenced by tube manipulation. Seven studies reported psychiatric outcomes, suggesting NG feeding reduces eating disorder behaviors but not overall symptomology.


NG feeding promotes short-term weight gain; however, long-term outcomes are poorly understood. Future research, using rigorous methods, is still needed to inform practice.

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