Preliminary Study of a Caregiver-based Infant and Child Feeding and Swallowing Screening Tool

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Abstract

Objectives:

The Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire (ICFQ) was created to facilitate early detection of feeding and swallowing problems. This is achieved by promoting effective communication between caregivers and health care providers resulting in referral for evaluation and treatment of feeding and swallowing problems by specialists. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether items from the ICFQ could be used to screen for differences between children with known feeding problems (FP) and without known feeding problems (NFP).

Methods:

Caregivers of children ages 36 months or younger with FP and NFP were recruited to complete the ICFQ and demographic questions. T tests were completed to compare demographic characteristics of the research groups. Responses to ICFQ items were analyzed using receiver operating characteristic analysis and odds ratios to determine whether questionnaire items distinguished between study groups.

Results:

Sixty-four caregivers of children with FP and 57 caregivers of NFP children were recruited. Three participants in the NFP group did not meet inclusion criteria and were excluded from analysis. A combination of 4 ICFQ questions distinguished between groups (receiver operating characteristic = 0.974). Significant odds ratios were also found for 9 feeding behaviors that distinguished between groups.

Conclusions:

A subset of items from the ICFQ showed promise for distinguishing FP from NFP groups. Future work will expand the regional representation of the participant samples and obtain equal representation of participants across all age-adjusted questionnaires to determine whether the same combination of ICFQ items continues to distinguish between FP and NFP groups.

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