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Rapid home-based weaning of small children with feeding tube dependency: positive effects on feeding behaviour without deceleration of growth

Abstract

Background Oral aversion and feeding disorders occur frequently after long-term feeding via a tube. A rapid home-based tube-weaning programme that provides feeding disorder treatment under medical supervision to overcome oral aversion has been developed.

Aims To describe the results of the 4–10-day rapid home-based feeding tube-weaning programme and to determine the prevalence of food aversion and the overall longitudinal effects on feeding behaviour and growth after treatment.

Subjects and Methods The parents of children who participated in the programme between 2005 and 2007 were followed up via questionnaire in 2008. The questionnaire included inquiries about the characteristics of tube feeding, feeding behaviour and growth parameters.

Results The study group comprised of 18 boys and 21 girls who, at entry, had a median age of 16 months (range, 5−57) and a median duration of tube feeding of 15 months (range, 3−56). The children were followed up for a median of 2 years after treatment (range, 1−3 years). The weaning programme established oral feeding in 89.7% of the children. In all cases where oral feeding was achieved, the feeding behaviour improved after treatment. The growth velocity of all children, as indicated by weight, length and body mass index (BMI), remained constant from the initial evaluation (BMI z-score M=−1.1 ± 1.7) to follow-up (BMI z-score M=−1.2 ± 1.1).

Conclusions This rapid weaning programme for children with feeding tube dependency (FTD) improved the feeding behaviour and was associated with constant growth velocity.

  • Nutrition
  • Child Psychology
  • Infant Feeding
  • Growth
  • Gastroenterology

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