Blended Diet South Warwickshire Foundation Trust Scoping Review

FUNDER

South Warwickshire Foundation Trust

VALUE

£5000

COLLABORATORS

South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (David Widdas, Specialist Consultant Nurse) and Professor Jane Coad and the Children and Families Research Team, CTEHR Coventry University.

PROJECT TEAM

  • Professor Jane Coad (PI Lead)
  • Dr. Alex Toft
  • Joanne Kelly

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The use of a blended diet as an alternative to prescribed formula feeds is a contentious issue which has provoked strong opinion in research and amongst professionals. The overall aims of the report will be to examine the evidence for best practice with regards to providing a blended diet via gastronomy tube. Providing reliable evidence about blended diets will help to inform practice and policy makers but also demonstrate where knowledge is still lacking in order to guide future research.

RESEARCH IMPACT

The anticipated impact from this review are that the experiences and recommendations put forwards by professionals who have examined the use of blended diets and the experiences of families passionate about the advantages of blended diets will be heard and investigated. Findings will help to provide vital guidance for families and professionals in knowing the benefits and risks of using real food blended diets. Findings can also be used to inform policy, practice and further research into safely trialling and evaluating the blended diet with enterally fed children and young people and their families.

There is also potential for longer term benefits from this review that extend beyond those that are reported, which include empowering families to be together for family mealtimes and improve feeding relationship which parents value so much. Results have found blended diet has been shown to be an effective means of improving short term symptoms and providing nutrition to children with feeding disorders. 

This work has led to the submission of a large NiHR grant, increased collaboration nationally and we now have a full time PhD student within Children and Families Research whose PhD subject links closely with this work.

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