Frequency of Feeding Problems in Children with Cerebral Palsy

  • Hira Usman Speech Therapist at Sharif Memorial Hospital Gujrat
Keywords: Cerebral Palsy, Oral motor dysfunction


Objective: To determine the frequency of feeding problems in children with cerebral palsy.
Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at developmental department of Children Hospital Lahore. Total 30 children with cerebral palsy were evaluated. The objective was to see the frequency of feeding problems in children suffering from cerebral palsy with age ranges between 1-9 years. A Performa was used for each patient, which was filled on the basis of history and clinical observation. Feeding skill assessment was based on Gisel and Patrick’s feeding behavior skill score. Score of 4 or less was regarded as normal, score of 5-8 was defined as marginal problem & score of 9 or more was regarded as inadequate feeding skills. All the collected data was entered in SPSS (statistical package for social sciences) for analysis.
Results: Out of total 30 patients, maximum (60%) were between 1-3 years of age. Feeding skill score was normal in 50% children. About 20% had marginal feeding skills and 30% inadequate feeding skills. Regarding frequency distribution of feeding problems due to oral motor dysfunction, drooling of saliva was most common complaint (66.7%) followed by absent tongue lateralization (63.3%) an hypertonic tongue (60%). The most common complication that was found due to feeding problems was recurrent chest infection (53.3%).
Conclusion: The present study concludes that in children with Cerebral Palsy, feeding problems due to oral motor dysfunctions are common and feeding problems produce different complications in these children.

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