Enteral versus parenteral nutrition: The patient's preference

James S. Scolapio, Michael F. Picco, Vilia B. Tarrosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Given that, in most clinical circumstances, enteral nutrition (nasal gastric tube feeding) may not necessarily be superior to parenteral nutrition (IV feeding), consideration of patient preference should be included in decisions on the method of feeding. Objectives: To evaluate patient preference for nasal gastric versus IV feeding. Methods: We administered a written questionnaire to 101 hospitalized oncology patients and 98 outpatients without gastrointestinal illness (controls). Statistical analyses included comparisons of group means with Student t tests, comparisons of proportions with χ2 tests, and logistic regression analysis. Results: Demographic variables of the 2 groups were comparable. In both groups, most individuals preferred IV to tube feeding. Preference for IV or tube feeding was related to patient perception of the comfort of these interventions. In logistic regression analyses, the strongest influences on preference were age and perceived comfort of IV feeding. Older individuals preferred IV to tube feeding. Gender, education level, physician's recommendation, and cost did not influence patient preference. Conclusions: Most patients prefer IV to nasal gastric feeding. Awareness of this patient preference is helpful in making decisions regarding the method of nutrient delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-250
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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