, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 348-365
Date: 16 Sep 2010

Pediatric Feeding Disorders: A Quantitative Synthesis of Treatment Outcomes

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A systematic review of the literature regarding treatment of pediatric feeding disorders was conducted. Articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals (1970–2010) evaluating treatment of severe food refusal or selectivity were identified. Studies demonstrating strict experimental control were selected and analyzed. Forty-eight single-case research studies reporting outcomes for 96 participants were included in the review. Most children presented with complex medical and developmental concerns and were treated at multidisciplinary feeding disorders programs. All studies involved behavioral intervention; no well-controlled studies evaluating feeding interventions by other theoretical perspectives or clinical disciplines met inclusion criteria. Results indicated that behavioral intervention was associated with significant improvements in feeding behavior. Clinical and research implications are discussed, including movement toward the identification of key behavioral antecedents and consequences that promote appropriate mealtime performance, as well as the need to better document outcomes beyond behavioral improvements, such as changes in anthropometric parameters, generalization of treatment gains to caregivers, and improvements in nutritional status.