The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of relatives of nursing home residents receiving percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding. Qualitative methodology using semistructured interviews explores the experiences and perceptions of eight relatives. Data are analyzed using thematic analysis. Four themes are constructed from the data: dependence and resulting disempowerment, having minimal or no involvement in the decision-making process for PEG placement, betrayal, and the losses associated with the social aspects of eating. There is a need for professional education about the psychosocial implications of feeding and an increased level of support for relatives to assist them to develop coping strategies. This will require an expansion of current professional roles to include assessment of individual need, setting of appropriate goals, and the coordination of the provision of multiagency services, likely to include counseling and social support. Further research is required in this field to inform service developments.
- Dependence and loss
- Nursing homes
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding