Nursing research opportunities in enteral nutrition

M. M. Heitkemper, J. F. Shaver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The concepts of individual adaptations, environmental, and person factors have been suggested as components of a framework for considering existing and potential investigations of enteral feeding as a therapeutic modality. Much of the work regarding adaptations to enteral feeding have described the pathophysiological and experiential responses of individuals - that there is less emphasis on the physiological and behavioral responses is evident in the literature. Also, little investigation has been focused on the environmental risk factors or the person vulnerability factors that are associated with less than optimal adaptations to enteral feeding. However, it is the understanding of all three of these aspects that will lead to comprehensive strategies for promoting satisfactory adaptations. To date, the majority of clinical therapeutic studies have focused on obviating or managing untoward reactions to enteral feeding by manipulating environmental physical factors. Certainly, more needs to be done, particularly with respect to temporal and rhythmicity considerations. However, there is an obvious lack of information about manipulating social circumstances or person factors (such as, knowledge deficit) for therapeutic ends. Examination of the multiple dimensions of patient responses to enteral nutrition modalities, the interaction of these various dimensions (concentrating on the social and person), and the physical elements is congruent with the holistic and caring nature of nursing practice and should guide future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalNursing Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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