Behavior at Mealtimes and the Young Child with Cystic Fibrosis


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Abstract

Recent work has indicated that behavioral feeding disorders may contribute to failure to thrive in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). This study compared the incidence of behavioral problems at mealtime, parenting stress, and nutritional intake for a sample of 22 children with CF and a matched control group of children without chronic disease. Multivariate analysis indicated that parents of children with CF viewed their child's behavior as more problematic at mealtime and more generally stressful than control group parents. Importantly, there was a significant negative correlation between the number of behavioral problems cited by parents of children with CF and caloric intake. Our CF group did not include any child who had significant failure to thrive (<5th percentile for weight for length). Thus, it appears that behavioral issues may impact on dietary intake for a broader population of children with CF than those with significant failure to thrive. J Dev Behav Pediatr 15:157–161, 1994. Index terms: cystic fibrosis, nutrition, behavior.

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