Impact of home parenteral nutrition on daily life: A qualitative study of eight patients


  • Pui Yan Tsang,

    1. University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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    • P.Y. Tsang BSc, Master of Nutrition and Dietetics Student
  • Sharon Carey

    Corresponding author
    1. Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia
    • Correspondence: S. Carey, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia. Email:

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    • S. Carey PhD, Clinical Dietitian (APD)



Existing qualitative research reveals that people on home parenteral nutrition often experience psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, and social impairment. The aim of the present study was to explore the impact of home parenteral nutrition on daily living in a cohort of Australian patients.


All eight patients receiving home parenteral nutrition at a large tertiary hospital were recruited for a semistructured interview face-to-face or by phone. Questions for interview included impact of home parenteral nutrition on general life, eating habits, social life and quality of living. An inductive thematic analysis approach was used.


Analysis showed that participants feel that home parenteral nutrition has many restrictions due to stringent regimens and limitations in being able to participate in activities such as swimming and travelling. Despite these restrictions, patients felt home parenteral nutrition had improved their quality of living, and it was seen as a life-saving intervention. Eating habits were changed due to medical conditions rather than due to home parenteral nutrition. Social life of participants was not greatly affected.


Patients reported that their daily living was improved by home parenteral nutrition despite the associated burdens. Health professionals should consider earlier initiation of home parenteral nutrition in intestinal failure patients to improve quality of living for these patients. A more structured multidisciplinary model of care would ensure that patients have access to psychological support where required.