Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 113--117

Survey of psychosocial issues of nasogastric tube feeding in head-and-neck cancer patients

Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, Civil Hospital Campus, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhavna C Patel
Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, Civil Hospital Campus, Asarwa, Ahmedabad - 380 016, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_255_20

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Background: Because of some psychosocial reasons and misbelieves regarding nasogastric(NG) tube feeding, many patients refuse for NG tube insertion. Aim: Primary aim was to do survey of psychological reasons for refusal of NG tube insertion and feeding in head and neck cancer patients. Secondary aim was to assess impact of psychological counseling of patient who did not accept NG tube feeding. Method: This cross sectional study was conducted on patients referred to palliative medicine department and needed NG tube feeding but refused for the same. We prepared our own questionnaire which includes the most common cause for enteral feeding refusal which we found during our routine OPD since last five years response to those questions were recorded. Then we did psychological counseling of patients and again we assessed patient's acceptability for NG tube feeding by Likert scale and record their response. Results: Most common psychological reasons for patient's refusal were “it will disrupt my body image”(88.33%), “unable to go outside/mix with people”(80%) and “dependency on others for activities”(66.66%). Post psychological counseling out of 60 patients 47 patients were agreed while 13 patients did not agree with NG tube feeding (P value 0.000062<0.5). Conclusion: We conclude that though NG tube feeding is necessary for some head and neck cancer, there are lots of psychosocial problem regarding its acceptance for patients. For that adequate psychological assessment and counseling is necessary for patients' acceptance, compliance and good quality of life.


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