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Gastroenterology Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e31824c235a
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The Effect of Abdominal Massage on Gastric Residual Volume: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Uysal, Nurcan PhD, RN; Eşer, İsmet PhD, RN; Akpinar, Hale MD

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Abstract

This study is a randomized controlled trial aimed at determining the effects of abdominal massage on high gastric residual volume seen in patients intermittently fed with enteral nutrition through a nasogastric tube. The study also investigated consequent abdominal distension and vomiting complications. The study was carried out in a university hospital between January and December 2009. The sample included 40 intervention (abdominal massage) and 40 control subjects. Findings demonstrated that 2.5% of the subjects in the massage group and 30.0% of the subjects in the control group developed high gastric residual volume from enteral nutrition through a nasogastric tube. Abdominal circumference measurements of subjects on the first and last days demonstrated that 20% of the subjects in the control group and only 2.5% of the subjects in the massage group developed abdominal distension (p = .044). Vomiting was observed in 10% of the control subjects; no vomiting was observed in the intervention group. Findings suggest that nurses should apply abdominal massage to subjects receiving enteral feedings intermittently to prevent high gastric residual volume and abdominal distension.

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