Mealtime Disruption and Caregiver Stress in Referrals to an Outpatient Feeding Clinic

Fishbein, M.; Benton, K.; Struthers, W.

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2014 Jul 24; 40(5):636-45

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This investigation explores the feeding behaviors, comorbidities, and parenting stress in young children referred to an outpatient feeding clinic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eligible participants (n =72) were primary caretakers of children ages 2-6 years referred to an interdisciplinary outpatient feeding disorder clinic, subcategorized according to the absence (n = 18) or presence (n = 54) of caretaker-reported medical or developmental comorbidities. This group was compared with an equivalent control sample of caretakers of age-matched children (n = 72). Measures included the Children's Eating Behavior Inventory (CEBI) and the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF). RESULTS: The CEBI and PSI scores were higher in the feeding disorder group than in the control group. PSI total was incrementally increased for control vs feeding disorder without comorbidity vs feeding disorder with comorbidity. CONCLUSION: Increased maladaptive behaviors and parenting stress were evident in children with feeding disorder regardless of the presence of comorbidity. Parenting stress was exacerbated by the presence of comorbidity.

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