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Social representations associated with tube feeding among adult hospitalized patients

Jaqueline Almeida Guimarães Barbosa Maria Imaculada de Fátima Freitas About the authors

This study aimed to identify and understand adult patients' representations on tube feeding. Data were collected through interviews with sixteen patients who were using feeding tubes, which were analyzed through discourse analysis and Social Representation Theory. We identified a sequence in which representations are reorganized and redefined through experience, in order to turn this treatment tolerable. This sequence begins when patients face the need of a feeding tube, followed by the experience of its use and finally, when deciding about continuing its use or not, when going home. Some representations contribute to treatment adherence and others to its rejection. Getting to know positive and negative ideas about this treatment makes it possible to approach these patients in a more direct way, with a view to better adherence and satisfaction.

enteral nutrition; anthropology, cultural; sociology


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E-mail: rlae@eerp.usp.br