Dr. K. Megan Carpenter OTD, OTR/L, SCFES
Dr. Mindy Garfinkel OTD, OTR/L, ATP
Background: Twenty to 45% of the general pediatric population experience feeding problems. When children with disabilities exhibit feeding problems, they are more likely to develop maladaptive mealtime behaviors that may lead to poor nutrition. Home training to help treat a child’s feeding delay or disorder is a vital component of feeding treatment and supports holistic, family-centered treatment models. It is important for occupational therapists working with this population to understand the impact of these behaviors on individual and family functioning.
Method: This quantitative study examined caregivers’ perspectives of the training families receive to support their child’s feeding delay or disorder, and how family mealtimes may be affected. One hundred and eight participants completed an online survey using primarily Likert scale questions.
Results: Caregivers report that (a) they are receiving current and evidenced-based interventions; (b) they feel supported, yet feel they need more support; (c) family relationships are adversely affected by a child’s feeding challenges; (d) caregivers desire to connect with other caregivers of children with feeding delays or disorders; and (e) they need stress management and coping strategies.
Conclusion: Feeding treatment is strengthened with more family-focused topics like family relationships and interactions, caregiver burden and stress management, and increased caregiver support.
Carpenter, K., & Garfinkel, M. (2021). Home and Parent Training Strategies for Pediatric Feeding Disorders: The Caregivers’ Perspective. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 9(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1725