Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Problems: An Interdisciplinary Team Approach
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In 1995, Oshawa General Hospital (now Lakeridge Health Corporation, Oshawa site) developed an interdisciplinary feeding and swallowing clinic to serve children with feeding problems. After four years, a retrospective chart review of 104 subjects was completed to assess the performance of the clinic, which consists of a pediatrician, a speech-language pathologist (S-LP), an occupational therapist (OT), and a registered dietitian (RD). Goals were set at the initial and follow-up visits. These goals were individualized according to client needs and were related to improvements in growth and/or feeding abilities. During this period, 176 of 232, or 75.9% (70-81, 95% confidence interval), of the initial goals were attained by the first follow-up visit. Progress in the clinic, as measured by the number of goals achieved by the first follow-up visit, was further analyzed according to the patient age group/category (i.e., infant, toddler, and child) and by the health care professional (i.e., S-LP, OT, and RD) to ascertain and compare success rates in these groups and professionals. The overall success rates in the patient age groups (p=0.07) and among the different professionals (p=0.92) were not significantly different. In short, the interdisciplinary team approach proved successful in treating feeding problems in patients referred to the clinic.
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