Ital J Pediatr. 2014 Jul 8;40(1):61.
Nutritional problems in children with neuromotor disabilities: an Italian case series.
Sangermano M, D Aniello R, Massa G, Albano R, Pisano P, Budetta M, Scuccimarra G, Papa E, Coppola G, Vajro P.
Background and aims: Several neuromotor disorders share exclusive, although often overlooked, nutritional problems. The objective of this study is therefore to delineate the frequency of malnutrition, evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional care, and identify issues needing to be possibly strengthened when caring for these patients into a general pediatrics department.Patients and methods: The study included 30 patients, 21 males and 9 females, aged between 2 and 15 years, affected by cerebral palsy, epileptic encephalopathy, and severe psychomotor developmental delay.Nutritional status was assessed by a dietary questionnaire administered to parents to investigate feeding difficulties; 3 days food diary to quantify daily calorie intake; anthropometrical (weight, height / length, body mass index percentiles, plicometry, specific body segments measurement) and blood (blood count, serum iron, albumin, transferrin, calcium, phosphorus) parameters.
More than 44% individuals of the study population was at risk of malnutrition, according to feeding difficulties, progressive depletion of weight, reduced daily calorie intake, reduced albumin and transferrin levels. This occurred despite a massive caregivers commitment, as documented by almost universal parental constant assistance during their long-duration meals.
Our results individuate the nutritional aspect being still a problem in the care of children with severe neuromotor disability.