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Short bowel syndrome in adults: the need for an interdisciplinary approach and coordinated care

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Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a heterogeneous disorder with broad variation in disease severity arising from different types of intestinal resection. The spectrum of malabsorption ranges from intestinal insufficiency to intestinal failure. Individualized patient strategies involving modifications of dietary macro- and micronutrients, fluid, and pharmacologic options are required to maximize health and quality-of-life outcomes and to minimize complications and SBS-associated mortality. Intestinal rehabilitation (IR) is an established but evolving approach to improving patient outcomes by decreasing long-term dependency on parenteral support (PS) for nutrition and fluid requirements. Specialized IR programs employ team-based interdisciplinary approaches to coordinate individualized patient care and treatment management through centralized facilities. Such facilities are often specialized intestinal care centers (ICCs) established at large medical centers. A multifaceted IR program offers the comprehensive interrelated services required by patients with SBS-associated intestinal failure throughout the course of disease. Components of interdisciplinary IR programs should include medical services offering diagnostics and monitoring, pharmacologic management, and symptom and complication control; nutrition services, including dietary modifications and interventions; and supportive psychosocial and educational services. A model of care centered on the IR concept means that long-term patient management, including decisions on long-term PS, is overseen by a member of the specialized care center. Rational, seamless, and timely communication among the patient's network of home-based and ICC healthcare providers is crucial to the success of any IR program. This paradigm shift to specialized IR programs will likely result in improvements across the patient care continuum.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number1 Suppl
Pages (from-to)60S-64S
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

    Research areas

  • Adult, Continuity of Patient Care, Humans, Intestines, Nutritional Requirements, Nutritional Status, Nutritional Support, Quality of Life, Short Bowel Syndrome

ID: 45056301