Safety, resource use and nutritional content of home-blended diets in children who are gastrostomy fed: findings from 'YourTube' - a prospective cohort study

Lorna K Fraser, Andre Bedendo, Mark O'Neill, Jo Taylor, Julia Hackett, Karen Alice Horridge, Janet Cade, Gerry Richardson, Han Phung, Alison McCarter, Catherine Elizabeth Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To assess the risks, benefits and resource implications of using home-blended food in children with gastrostomy tubes compared with currently recommended formula feeds.

DESIGN: This is a cohort study. Data were collected at months 0, 12 and 18 from parents and clinicians using standardised measures.

SETTING: 32 sites across England: 28 National Health Service trusts and 4 children's hospices.

PATIENTS: Children aged 6 months-18 years who were gastrostomy fed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The main outcome measure was the PedsQL Gastrointestinal Symptoms Scales score. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, sleep (child, parent), dietary intake, anthropometry, healthcare usage, safety outcomes and resource use.

RESULTS: 180 children and families completed the baseline data collection, with 134 (74%) and 105 (58%) providing follow-up data at 12 and 18 months. There were fewer gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms at all time points in the home-blended diet group, but there was no difference in change over time within or between the groups. The nutritional intake of those on a home-blended diet had higher calories per kilogram and fibre, and both home-blended and formula-fed children have values above the dietary reference values for most micronutrients. Safety outcomes were similar between groups and over time. The total costs to the statutory sector were higher among children who were formula fed, but the costs of purchasing special equipment for home-blended food and the total time spent on childcare were higher for families with home-blended diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Children who are gastrostomy fed a home-blended diet have similar safety profile, adequate nutritional intake and lower burden of GI symptoms than formula-fed children. Trial registration number ISRCTN13977361.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Journal Archives of Disease in Childhood
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

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