Evidence for best nutrition practice in stroke care

Because June is Stroke Month, I’m going to end this last week of June with several posts on stroke research that provides evidence for best nutrition practice.

Today I’m highlighting the FOOD trials that tried to answer the why, when and how of feeding stroke pts. The questions were:

1. In patients who can take adequate oral fluids, does routine oral nutrition supplementation increase the proportion of stroke patients surviving without disability?
2. In patients who are unable to take an adequate diet orally, does early initiation of tube feeding (NG or PEG) increase the proportion of stroke patients surviving without severe disability?
3. In patients who need tube feeding, is a PEG tube, instead of the traditional NG tube, associated with improved outcomes after stroke?

The study results, along with a helpful commentary, were published in the 26 February 2005 issue of the Lancet. Here are the web links to the articles (note: subscription needed to read them):

Donnan GA, Dewey HM. Stroke and nutrition: FOOD for thought. The Lancet, Volume 365, Number 9461, pages 729-730.

Routine oral nutritional supplementation for stroke patients in hospital (FOOD): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. The FOOD Trial Collaboration. The Lancet, Volume 365, Number 9461, pages 755-763.

Effect of timing and method of enteral tube feeding for dysphagic stroke patients (FOOD): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. The FOOD Trial Collaboration. The Lancet, Volume 365, Number 9461, pages 764-772.

If you or your workplace do not have a Lancet subscription, you can still read summaries of the articles for free, although you do have to register. I did this, but to be honest, I didn’t find the summaries had enough information to be useful.

I had wanted to to upload the full articles to my blog but I can’t because of copyright restrictions. If you can’t access the articles easily, please email me and I will email you copies for your personal use. (The copyright policy permits this.)

My email address is on the About me page.

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