Quality of Life Assessment in Children with Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
As described in previous chapters, dysphagia is an impairment of swallowing function and may occur at the oral, pharyngeal, or esophageal phases of swallowing. Children with dysphagia generally present with a feeding disorder, but not all children with a feeding disorder have dysphagia. Pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders can have a profound impact on the child’s quality of life, as well as that of their parents and family. Feeding or swallowing difficulties are generally stressful in the moment, for both the child and family. In addition, parents will often be driven by concern for the long-term consequences of their child not eating enough and/or not eating “normally.” The high stakes involved underlie much of the stress that follows when pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders are present. Children may have a fear of choking or vomiting. Parents may have that same fear about their child and may also fear that the child’s feeding/swallowing disorder is an indicator that the child is not “normal” or will not consume enough to develop “normally.”
KeywordsQuality of life in children with feeding and swallowing disorders Feeding disorders in children Swallowing disorders in children Pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders Health-related quality of life
Acknowledgments and Disclosures
The authors are both (unpaid/volunteer) members of the Medical Professional Council for Feeding Matters. The authors express thanks to Feeding Matters Executive Council members (Chris Linn, Jaclyn Pederson) for their review and feedback on this chapter.
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