State practice variations in the use of tube feeding for nursing home residents with severe cognitive impairment.

TitleState practice variations in the use of tube feeding for nursing home residents with severe cognitive impairment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsAhronheim J.C, Mulvihill M., Sieger C., Park P., Fries B.E
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Date PublishedFeb
Accession NumberPMID:11207868
Keywords*Cognition Disorders/th [Therapy], *Enteral Nutrition/sn [Statistics & Numerical Data], *Nursing Homes, *Patient Selection, *Physician's Practice Patterns/sn [Statistics & Numerical Data], Advance Directives, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cognition Disorders/cl [Classification], Comparative Study, Continental Population Groups, Diagnosis-Related Groups/sn [Statistics & Numerical Data], Female, Health Care Surveys, Health Policy, Human, Male, Multivariate Analysis, Practice Guidelines, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Severity of Illness Index, Socioeconomic Factors, United States

OBJECTIVE: To describe the differences in prevalence of tube feeding among states and to examine possible factors that could explain practice patterns. DESIGN: Analysis of random samples from an interstate data bank comprised of the Minimum Data Set (MDS), a standardized, federally mandated assessment instrument for nursing home residents. SETTING: Nursing homes in four states participating in a federal demonstration project of case mix payment plus five others with existing MDS data systems. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals 65 years of age and older (N = 57,029), who had very severe cognitive impairment, including total dependence in eating, and who resided in nursing homes during 1994, the most recent year for which uniform data were available. MEASUREMENTS: State-by-state differences in prevalence of tube feeding, controlling for demographic and clinical variables. RESULTS: The prevalence of tube feeding ranged from 7.5% in Maine to 40.1% in Mississippi. Each state had a significantly elevated prevalence of tube feeding compared with Maine, with odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 1.50 to 5.83, P < .001. Specific directives not to provide tube feeding (OR 0.41, P < .001), and white race (OR 0.45, P < .001) were strongly and negatively associated with tube feeding. CONCLUSIONS: Wide regional variations exist in the use of tube feeding of nursing home residents with equivalent impairments. Sociodemographic factors could be important, but more study is needed to determine whether physician characteristics, such as race, attitudes, or knowledge, have an impact and to clarify medical standards for the use of tube feeding in this population.


Short TitleJournal of the American Geriatrics SocietyJ Am Geriatr Soc
Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc