Pediatric Feeding Program

Pediatric Feeding Outcomes

2016 - 2018

Our Feeding Disorders Program at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary program involving physicians, as well as psychologists, nurses, nutritionists, occupational therapists, and speech/language therapists. Patients are assessed by the team, which considers all major issues interfering with oral feeding, as well as the most pertinent needs, resources, and limitations of the child and the family. Patients receive varying intensities of treatment depending on their needs from day hospital service to individual outpatient therapy sessions.

Data were collected on all patients treated in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program for 2016 to 2018. To be included in the treatment groups, patients must have completed 15 sessions of treatment, with a break of no more than six weeks between sessions. In addition, patients needed to meet criteria for one of two treatment groups: severe food restriction of less than 15 foods at the time of initial evaluation or children who presented with inadequate oral feeding skills to manage developmentally appropriate volumes of solids and/or liquids.

All patients received treatment from an interdisciplinary team that included practitioners from Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Nutrition. The data collected focused on the general outpatient treatment group. Data were measured at the initiation of treatment and at a follow-up interval of 15 sessions.

Number of Foods Added at Follow-Up

For the severe food restriction group 41 of 53 patients (77%) added foods. This would indicate that levels of resistance at accepting new foods decreased during the first 15 sessions of treatment to allow the patient to expand their diet with behavioral intervention.

For those patients with inadequate oral feeding skills 15 of 24 patients (62%) added foods. This would indicate improvement in oral skills to manage solids during the first 15 sessions of treatment to allow the patient to improve oral intake with appropriate oral motor and oral sensory strategies.