Nutritional and Feeding Problems among Children with Cerebral Palsy
Objectives: The study was conducted to identify nutritional and feeding problems among children with cerebral palsy
Methods and Material: 75 consecutive children with cerebral palsy, from a Paediatric Neurology outpatient clinic were selected. An interview schedule was used to assess feeding problems. Assessment proforma, weighing machine and measuring tape were used to assess physical measurement for identifying nutritional problems.
Results and Conclusions: 75.9% of the cohort had malnutrition, 64% had wasting and 70.7% had stunting. 69.2% of 2-5 yrs olds, 80% of 5-8 yr olds and 62.5% of 8-12 yr olds were underweight. 5.3% were overweight.100%, 50% and 67.5% of choreoathetoid, hemiplegic and quadriplegic children were underweight respectively. Stunting was marked in the 8-12 year group and in diplegics. Feeding problems were more common in the 5-8 year group. 95% had a slow intake. 95% had a slow oral intake. 76.5% could not self feed, 60% spilt food, 45% rejected solids, 35% had frequent aspiration, 35% had difficulty chewing food, 35% had difficulty in spoon feeding, 25% had swallowing problem, 25% could not drink from a cup and 15% had vomiting. Clinical signs of nutritional deficiencies were also evident in the study group. There was statistically significant association between feeding problems and stunting, i.e. feeding problems were more in the group of cerebral palsy children who were having stunting. Maternal ignorance regarding feeding of cerebral palsy children was more in mothers from low socio- economic status. Children with Spastic quadriplegic Cerebral palsy had more feeding problems.