Journal of advanced nursing vol:32 issue:1 pages:194-201
This study describes the frequency of and indications used for total feeding assistance and tube feeding in a national representative sample of Belgian hospital patients (n = 421 314). Data from the 1990 national minimum nursing data registration was used. Orem's self-care model was used to describe and categorize types of nursing care and related indications. The scope of wholly compensatory nursing care was limited to total feeding assistance and tube feeding. This type of nursing care is indicated when self-care agency is undeveloped or cannot be used and when self-care demands are significantly increased. Based on review of the literature, hypotheses to indicate nursing care were formulated and tested. Wholly compensatory nursing care related to enteral food intake is given to 14.4% of the total patient population in Belgian hospitals. If self-care demand increases due to malnutrition, then this is an indication for total feeding assistance. If self-care agency decreases due to blindness, mental retardation, disorientation or upper extremity dysfunction, then this is also an indication for total feeding assistance. If self-care agency decreases due to impaired chewing, then this is an indication for tube feeding. This study has generated the first representative national nursing statistics about total feeding assistance and tube feeding in hospitals.