Parent-Reported Feeding Difficulties among Children Born with Esophageal Atresia: Prevalence and Early Risk FactorsFunding The study was financed by grants from the Swedish state under the agreement between the Swedish government and the county councils, the ALF-agreement (grant sponsor: ALF; grant number: ALFGBG-717911), and by the Queen Silvia Jubilee Foundation, 2019.
Introduction We aimed to describe the prevalence of observable feeding difficulties during mealtimes among children with repaired esophageal atresia (EA) and to determine their early predictors.
Materials and Methods A survey, based on parents' reports and concerning difficulties in EA children's nutritional intake, was performed with the help of 114 families of 2 to 17-year-old EA patients. Neonatal and clinical/surgical data were collected from medical records. Comparisons were made of the prevalence n (%) of feeding difficulties between children in three age groups (2 to 7 years, 8 to 12 years, or 13 to 17 years of age) using the Mantel-Haenszel chi-square test. Logistic regression identified outcome predictors (odds ratio: 95% confidence interval). Predictors with p ≤ 0.1 in the univariable analysis were included in multiple regression analysis (p < 0.05).
Results Seventy-five percent of the young children aged 2 to 7, (median number of feeding difficulties: 2), 61% of school-aged children aged 8 to 12 (median number of feeding difficulties: 1), and 60% patients in the teenage group, aged 13 to 17, (median number of feeding difficulties: 1), reported feeding difficulties. Surgical complications after EA repair independently predicted children having a gastrostomy (p ≤ 0.01), using a food infusion pump (p ≤ 0.01), taking small portions to facilitate eating (p = 0.01), and needing >30 minutes to finish a main meal (p = 0.02). Congenital independent predictors were VACTERL, low birth weight, and preterm birth.
Conclusion Parentally observed feeding difficulties were commonly reported during early childhood, although prevalence decreases in older age groups. Several congenital and surgical factors were identified as independent predictors of complicated nutritional intake patterns.
Received: 01 May 2020
Accepted: 16 August 2020
07 October 2020 (online)
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