, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 671–677 | Cite as

Impact of Children’s Feeding/Swallowing Problems: Validation of a New Caregiver Instrument

  • Maureen A. Lefton-GreifEmail author
  • Sande O. Okelo
  • Jennifer M. Wright
  • Joseph M. Collaco
  • Sharon A. McGrath-Morrow
  • Michelle N. Eakin
Original Article


The impact of caring for children with deglutition disorders is poorly understood and tools to measure the unique concerns of these caregivers are lacking. The aims of this investigation were to develop and validate The Feeding/Swallowing Impact Survey (FS-IS) as an instrument designed to measure and improve understanding of caregiver issues. Demographic, economic, and dysphagic data were provided by the primary caregivers of 164 children (median age: 14 months, male: 78, female: 86) presenting for initial outpatient feeding/swallowing evaluations. Caregivers completed the PEDS-QL™ Family Impact Module (PEDS-QL™ FIM) and the FS-IS. A principal component analysis was conducted on the FS-IS to identify appropriate subscales. Concurrent validity was assessed by examining correlations between the FS-IS and PEDS-QL™ FIM. Caring for children with feeding/swallowing problems adversely impacted the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of their caregivers. The FS-IS had a strong 3-factor solution to indicate 3 subscales: Daily Activities, Worry, and Feeding Difficulties. All three subscales and total score of the FS-IS correlated with PEDS-QL™ FIM. The FS-IS was validated as an instrument that may help clinicians detect specific factors that influence caregiver HRQoL, identify caregivers who might benefit from additional support, and ultimately improve the care of their children with feeding/swallowing disorders.


Deglutition Deglutition disorders Dysphagia Child Pediatric Health-related quality of life Caregiver experiences 



The authors wish to thank the families who participated in the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Pulmonary Registry and the research assistants, Jillian Andrews and Lyndsey Marshall, who interacted with the families and compiled their data. This work was partially supported by the National Institutes of Health grants NHLBI HL089410 and NIDCD 5R01DC011290-03. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Conflict of interest

All authors disclose that they have no financial interests in the subject of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

455_2014_9560_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 50 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen A. Lefton-Greif
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Sande O. Okelo
    • 4
  • Jennifer M. Wright
    • 1
  • Joseph M. Collaco
    • 1
  • Sharon A. McGrath-Morrow
    • 1
  • Michelle N. Eakin
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsMattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineJohns Hopkins Adherence Research CenterBaltimoreUSA

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