Global Variation in Use of Enteral Nutrition for Pediatric Crohn Disease

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Abstract

Objectives:

Exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) is an effective induction treatment for pediatric Crohn disease. Given the center-based variation in use and diversity in practice, we constructed a survey aimed at sharing experience and strategies in administering EEN, stimulating further research, and optimizing therapy.

Methods:

This survey was constructed after consultation with experts and designed to address key knowledge gaps. The survey was disseminated through the Pediatric IBD Porto Group of ESPGHAN, Canadian Children IBD Network, selective experts, and was sent twice through the Pediatric Gastrointestinal-Bulletin Board (PEDGI-BB). Data were collected into REDCap and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results:

In total, 146 participants from 26 countries completed the survey. Sixty-five percentage of participants were general, non-inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)-focused pediatric gastroenterologists, 21% were IBD-focused, and 10% were dietitians. The most common indications (∼90% use) were for ileocecal and ileocolonic disease (Paris L1 and L3). The most common duration was 8 weeks and 66% preferred oral to nasogastric administration. Most (63%) did not allow any additional intake and 69% instructed patients to continue partial enteral nutrition (EN) after completing treatment. Dietitians were identified as essential to EEN success while the primary challenges of EEN programs were adherence and lack of support. Regional and professional practice differences were observed in EEN indication, age, exclusivity, program structure/support, and cost coverage.

Conclusions:

We found significant variation in practice and use of EEN with several regional and professional differences. Global variation offers opportunities for research and improving care. This survey establishes a framework and provides resources for collaboration and information sharing.

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