, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Systematic Review: Non-Instrumental Swallowing and Feeding Assessments in Pediatrics

  • Dani-Ella Heckathorn
  • Renée SpeyerEmail author
  • Jessica Taylor
  • Reinie Cordier
Review Article


There is a high incidence of parental reporting of abnormal swallowing and feeding function and the negative impacts thereof on children. As such there is a need for well validated assessments in the area of pediatric swallowing and feeding. While instrumental assessments are well validated, there is limited information available to guide the selection and use of non-instrumental assessments for swallowing and feeding function. The aim of this study was to identify and report on non-instrumental assessments available to clinicians for pediatric swallowing and/or feeding function in order to support clinical decision making. A systematic literature search was performed by two independent reviewers using Medline and Embase databases, to find non-instrumental assessments for pediatric swallowing and feeding function. Published assessments were also included in the study by searching well-known publishers and relevant feeding and swallowing textbooks. Assessments were summarized and evaluated according to respondent type, target populations, assessment design, domains of assessment and scoring. Thirty assessments were included in the final review. All assessments had either caregiver or clinician respondents. There was high variability in target populations, assessment designs and areas of assessment. Twenty-four of the 30 assessments did not provide instruction for scoring or interpreting scores. There is high variability among the many assessments available to clinicians in the area of feeding and swallowing function in pediatrics. There appears to be limited information available on the validity and reliability of these assessments. Thus, most assessments need to be used with caution. Further research is needed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the assessments.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Cerebral Palsy Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Oral Motor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System for Infants and Children—Second Edition


Autism spectrum disorder


About Your Child’s Eating


Brief Autism Mealtime Behavior Inventory


Brief Assessment of Motor Function (Oral Motor Deglutition scale)


Behavioral assessment scale of oral functions in feeding


Bedside Evaluation of Dysphagia—Revised Edition


Carolina Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs


Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory


Children’s Eating Behavior Inventory


Children’s Eating Behavior Questionnaire


Child Feeding Questionnaire


Child Mealtime Feeding Behavior Questionnaire


Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events


Developmental Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities—Third Edition


Developmental Assessment of Young Children—Second Edition


Dysphagia Evaluation Protocol


Dysphagia Disorder Survey or Dysphagia Disorders Survey


Dyadic Interaction Nomenclature for Eating


Drooling Severity and Frequency Scale


Early Feeding Skills Assessment


Family Environment Scale


Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment—Second Edition


Feeding and Swallowing Questionnaire


Feeding Strategies Questionnaire


Gisel Video Assessment


Infant Feeding Style Questionnaire


Infant-Toddler and Family Instrument


Multidisciplinary Feeding Profile


Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale


Not Reported


Oral Assessment Guide for children and young people


Oropharyngeal Dysphagia


Oral Motor Assessment Scale


Pediatric Assessment Scale for Severe Feeding Problems


Preterm Infant Breastfeeding Behavior Scale (revised)


Parent Mealtime Action Scale


Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)


Pre-Speech Assessment Scale


Quality of Life


Swallowing Ability and Function Evaluation


Systematic Assessment of the Infant at Breast


Schedule for Oral Motor Assessment


Screening Tool of Feeding Problems, modified for children


Swallowing Quality of Life Questionnaire (adapted for use with pediatric patients)


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dani-Ella Heckathorn
    • 1
  • Renée Speyer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jessica Taylor
    • 1
  • Reinie Cordier
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Healthcare SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck SurgeryLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.School of Occupational Therapy and Social WorkCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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