Efficacy of enteral nutritional support after hospital discharge in major gastrointestinal surgery patients: a systematic review

Alfonso Vidal Casariego, Alicia Calleja Fernández, Rocío Villar Taibo, Ana Urioste Fondo, Begoña Pintor de la Maza, Ana Hernández Moreno, Isidoro Cano Rodríguez, María D. Ballesteros Pomar


Introduction:Nutritional support for malnourished patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery reduces the complication rate and shortens the length of stay. The efficacy of nutritional support after hospital discharge was analyzed in this systematic review.

Methods: The search strategy (nutrition OR “enteral nutrition” OR “nutritional supplements” OR “oral nutritional supplements” OR “sip feed” OR “sip feeding” OR “dietary counseling”) AND (“patient discharge” OR discharge OR postdischarge) AND (surgery OR operation OR “surgical procedure”) was followed in Medline, CENTRAL, and Trip databases. Inclusion criteria comprised: type of study (randomized controlled trial), language (English, Spanish), and subjects (patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery). The risk of bias was assessed by using the Cochrane methodology.

Results: Five studies which were published in six different articles and recruited 446 patients were included. A high risk of bias was detected for most of them. Nutritional support improved energy intake and protein intake when high-protein oral supplements were provided. The intervention was associated with better weight prognosis, but the data about body composition were inconsistent. In most of the trials, nutritional intervention did not enhance functional capacity or quality of life. None of the studies analyzed the effects on complications after discharge.

Conclusion: Nutritional support provided at discharge may increase dietary intake and improve body weight, but the low quality of studies can weaken the validity of results

Palabras clave

Malnutrition. Nutritional support. Oral nutritional supplements. Surgery. Length of stay. Hospital discharge.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20960/nh.482

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