Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Feb;27(1):129-35.
Interprofessional group intervention for parents of children age 3 and younger with feeding difficulties: pilot program evaluation.
Owen C, Ziebell L, Lessard C, Churcher E, Bourget V, Villenueve H.
Source Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L1, Canada
Background: Feeding difficulties are common with an estimated prevalence of 25%-45% in normally developing children. Clinicians and researchers emphasize the need for timely and effective treatment because a proportion of children develop failure to thrive with possible long-term impairments. Interprofessional assessment and treatment has emerged as an optimal approach to reduce parental anxiety and increase children’s acceptance of a wider variety of foods. Methods: Participants, including 30 children (mean age of 26 ± 8.2 months) meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria and their families, attended a program consisting of 4 sessions, and a 1-month follow-up. Parents completed the Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale pre- and posttreatment and Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS). Results: Paired t tests indicate that the composite scores for frequency of feeding difficulties were on average significantly less posttreatment compared with pretreatment, and composite scores for frequency of parental problems with feeding were also significantly less posttreatment. These results were reflected in the composite scores for both feeding difficulties and parental problems with feeding on child- and parent-related items. The median for the GAS was +2 (range, -2 to +2). Written parental responses in the GAS reflected 2 major themes: satisfaction with the program and a desire for more individualized attention. Conclusions: These results offer preliminary evidence suggesting that an interprofessionally led parent group, with contributions from clinical nutrition, occupational therapy, psychology, and speech-language pathology professionals, is effective in treating young children with feeding difficulties.
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