What's new on defining diarrhea in tube-feeding studies?

Kelly J. Lebak, Donna Z Bliss, Kay Savik, Kathleen M. Patten-Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Nurses who are involved in studies of tube-feeding tolerance or who review the literature on this topic are confronted with a myriad of definitions and methods of reporting diarrhea. In a 1992 study, the authors reported that these definition differences influenced results. In a review of the current literature, they determined that little progress had been made toward standardizing definitions and reports of diarrhea in studies of tube feeding. A secondary analysis of stool characteristics of hospitalized patients using various definitions of diarrhea showed there was a positive association between stoolfrequency and consistency. Criteria for stool consistency in the definitions of diarrhea appeared to have a greater influence on diarrhea outcomes when stoolfrequency was low. The authors suggest recognition of a taxonomy of definitions of diarrhea in the absence of consensus, which will help guide the design of future investigations and facilitate the evaluation and utilization of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-204
Number of pages31
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Diarrhea
  • Enteral feeding
  • Tube feeding


Dive into the research topics of 'What's new on defining diarrhea in tube-feeding studies?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this