International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 10–15 | Cite as

Medication administration via enteral feeding tube: a survey of pharmacists’ knowledge

  • Elke JoosEmail author
  • Stacey Verbeke
  • Els Mehuys
  • Jan Van Bocxlaer
  • Jean Paul Remon
  • Myriam Van Winckel
  • Koen Boussery
Short Research Report


Background Medication administration to patients with an enteral feeding tube (EFT) is complex and prone to errors. Community pharmacists may be ideally placed to provide training and advice on this topic in individual patients as well as in institutions supplied by the pharmacy. Objective To assess community pharmacists’ knowledge on guideline recommendations regarding medication preparation and administration through EFT. Method Knowledge of guideline recommendations was assessed using a 15-item self-administered online questionnaire (April–June 2014). Questions reflected key aspects of guideline recommendations on medication administration via EFT. All graduated community pharmacists from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium were eligible for participation. Results A total of 105 community pharmacists completed the questionnaire. Median self-perceived knowledge of medication administration via EFT was 2 (on a 0–10 scale). On average 5.2 (SD 2.6) out of the 15 questions were answered correctly. Strikingly, the ability to select suspensions in a list of liquid medications and knowledge on crushability of solid dosage forms were low. Conclusion Our findings demonstrate that pharmacists’ knowledge on correct medication administration via EFT is too limited to be able to provide good advice to EFT patients or their caregivers. Tailored training on this topic is needed.


Belgium Enteral feeding tube Knowledge Medication administration Pharmacist 



The authors would like to thank the participating pharmacists.


This study was funded by Ghent University.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elke Joos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stacey Verbeke
    • 1
  • Els Mehuys
    • 1
  • Jan Van Bocxlaer
    • 2
  • Jean Paul Remon
    • 1
  • Myriam Van Winckel
    • 3
  • Koen Boussery
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Care Unit, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory for Medical Biochemistry and Clinical Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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