Fully a third of patients who have certain feeding tubes placed for Parkinson’s disease-related dysphagia are discharged to an eldercare facility, a new outcomes study has found.

Investigators analyzed 83 cases of adults with a median age of 78 who received percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy procedures (to introduce a feeding tube through the abdominal wall and into the gastrointestinal tract). Among 56 patients admitted to the hospital from home, 32% were moved to a nursing home after the procedure, reported first author Lisa Brown, BSc, RN, from the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, United Kingdom. 

Other outcomes included a median survival of 422 days, and a 30-day mortality rate of 6%. Survival rates were not significantly influenced by age, sex, diagnosis, or comorbidities, among other factors. Longer survival was linked to discharge to the community and follow up by an enteral feeding team, the researchers noted. The most common complication was aspiration pneumonia. 

Discussions about percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding should include information about survival, complications, and the potential need for long-term care, the investigators concluded.

The study was published in the journal Movement Disorder Clinical Practice.