Parent-report instruments for assessing feeding difficulties in children with neurological impairments: a systematic review.

Dev Med Child Neurol 2019 02 5;61(2):135-144. Epub 2018 Aug 5.

Department of Paediatrics and Chancellery, Perdana University, Selangor, Malaysia.

Aim: This study aimed to review the psychometric properties and clinical application of parent-report instruments that assess feeding difficulties in children with neurological impairments.

Method: Papers were identified through five electronic databases based on 15 keywords and were included if they met the following criteria: published in English, described the implementation of parent-report instruments, and included children with neurological impairments (either in the report or a related study population).

Results: In total, 1220 relevant abstracts were screened and 22 full-text articles were evaluated. The following six parent-report instruments met the inclusion criteria: (1) Screening Tool of Feeding Problems applied to children, (2) Paediatric Eating Assessment Tool, (3) Paediatric Assessment Scale for Severe Feeding Problems, (4) Montreal Children's Hospital Feeding Scale, (5) Children's Eating Behaviour Inventory, and (6) Behavioural Paediatric Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS). Based on comprehensive psychometric testing and consistently good results, the BPFAS was considered the most valid and reliable instrument. The BPFAS also showed good clinical applicability because it was readily available, required a short administration time, and used a simple scoring system.

Interpretation: We reviewed the available parent-report instruments for assessing feeding difficulties in children with neurological impairments. The BPFAS had the best psychometric properties and clinical applicability.

What This Paper Adds: Six parent-report instruments were suitable for assessing feeding in children with neurological impairments. The Behavioural Paediatric Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) has the strongest psychometric properties. The BPFAS also has good clinical applicability.

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