Center for Advanced Practice


Enteral nutrition support for infants with pulmonary hypoplasia: A qualitative evaluation of caregiver and provider perspectives.

Publication Title

Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

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PubMed ID



BACKGROUND: Enteral nutrition is a critical intervention that supports the growth of children with pulmonary hypoplasia (PH). We explored the experiences of caregivers and providers caring for children with PH to better understand gaps in knowledge transfer and identify barriers and facilitators to caregiving to inform interventions that may improve support.

METHODS: This qualitative study included 10 interviews with caregivers and 10 clinical team members at a single integrated care program for children with PH. An inductive and iterative coding strategy was employed to produce a codebook. After cluster analysis, themes were generated to capture participant sentiments.

RESULTS: Themes were defined along a care continuum (1) initiation, (2) adaptation, and (3) maintenance that represented distinct phases of adjustment to enteral nutrition support (1) in the perinatal period and initial neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, (2) from discharge planning through the family's first days at home and establishment of a stable feeding regime, and (3) through long-term follow-up and weaning. Notable subthemes included uncertainty, partnerships in training, and obstacles to adaptation.

CONCLUSIONS: Among children with PH, the caregiver-provider relationship during the perinatal and NICU course is critical to promoting caregiver adaptation to the needs of the child. Ongoing considerations to support resource alignment and transition to a stable feeding regimen may facilitate caregiver adjustment to a "new normal," culminating in successful growth and/or weaning. These findings will inform interventions focused on training curricula, discharge planning, and the provision of follow-up in the context of an integrated care program for PH.


Caregivers, Child, Enteral Nutrition, Family, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Qualitative Research



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