AIMS To assess the occurrence of infantile colic in the community and the need for professional help; and to study the influences of potential determinants of infantile colic.
METHODS Surveys were identified by a systematic search in Medline (1966–98) and Embase (1988–98). Retrieved publications were checked for references. Studies selected were community based, prospective, and retrospective surveys on the occurrence of infantile colic published in English, German, French, or Dutch. Occurrence rates were calculated as percentages. Methodological quality of the surveys was assessed by two assessors independently with a standardised criteria list containing items on method of data gathering, definition of colic, and drop out rate.
RESULTS Fifteen community based surveys were identified. The methodological quality varied considerably and was generally low. Even the two most methodologically sound prospective studies yielded widely varying cumulative incidence rates of 5–19%. Referral rates or the need to seek help because of crying were consistently lower than occurrence rates for prolonged crying as such. Gender, socioeconomic class, type of feeding, family history of atopy, and parental smoking were not shown to be associated with colic.
CONCLUSION Occurrence rates of infantile colic vary greatly according to methodological quality. A considerable number of parents reporting prolonged crying do not seek or need professional help.
- infantile colic
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.