Documentation of everyday life and health care following gastrostomy tube placement in children: a content analysis of medical records.

Research paper by Ellen E Backman, Mats M Granlund, Ann-Kristin AK Karlsson

Indexed on: 15 Feb '19Published on: 15 Feb '19Published in: Disability and rehabilitation


Everyday routines play a vital role in child functioning and development. This study explored health professionals' documentation of everyday life and health care during the first year following gastrostomy tube placement in children and the content of intervention goals. The medical records of 39 children (median age 38 months, min-max: 15-192) in one region of Sweden were analysed. A content analysis approach was used with an inductive qualitative analysis supplemented by a deductive, quantitative analysis of documented intervention goals following the ICF-CY. One overall theme, "Seeking a balance", captured the view of life with a gastrostomy and the health care provided. Two categories, "Striving for physical health" and "Depicting everyday life" with seven sub-categories, captured the key aspects of the documentation. Twenty-one children (54%) had intervention goals related to the gastrostomy, and these goals primarily focused on the ICF-CY component "Body functions". To some extent the medical records reflected different dimensions of everyday life, but the intervention goals clearly focused on bodily aspects. Understanding how health care for children using a gastrostomy is documented and planned by applying an ecocultural framework adds a valuable perspective and can contribute to family-centred interventions for children using a gastrostomy. Implications for Rehabilitation There is a need for increased awareness in healthcare professionals for a more consistent and holistic healthcare approach in the management of children with gastrostomy tube feeding. This study suggests that an expanded focus on children's participation in everyday mealtimes and in the healthcare follow-up of gastrostomy tube feeding is important in enhancing the intervention outcome. Multidisciplinary teams with a shared bio-psycho-social understanding of health would contribute to a situation in which the everyday lives of households adapt to living with gastrostomy. Routine care for children with gastrostomy should follow a checklist combining crucial physiological aspects of gastrostomy tube feeding with seemingly mundane family functions in order to achieve a successful gastrostomy tube feeding intervention.