What is the Purpose of a Feeding Screening?
Feeding screening may identify the risk of pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) so that infants, children and youth may be referred for a comprehensive assessment. Screening is not diagnostic and outcomes do not provide information about feeding difficulty severity or best management. Screening is carried out for the purpose of early identification that can support opportunities for a diagnosis and effective treatment, counselling, and education (World Health Organization, 2008). Screening is not the only pathway to an assessment and is not required prior to an assessment. There is no evidence to suggest an optimal time to screen a child for feeding difficulties. Concerned parents will typically identify if their child has difficulty eating, feeding and swallowing, and will bring their child for assessment when concerned about their child meeting their developmental milestones. Parents are advised to talk to a healthcare provider knowledgeable about feeding if they have concerns.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR FEEDING SCREENING:
Who should be screened?
Who could initiate a discussion for need of a feeding screen?
Who could complete a feeding screen?
Screening Tools for Feeding Risk
Validated tools for screening feeding risk serve to:
- promote early identification of risk of having pediatric feeding disorder (PFD)
- present education about feeding milestones
- provide a referral method for a comprehensive assessment
- provide a platform for parents to discuss concerns with a healthcare professional
Multiple screening tools and methods exist to screen feeding risk. The recommended screening tools in this CPG include:
The recommended screening tool in this CPG is the Feeding Matters Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire© (Silverman, Berlin, & Linn, 2020):
• the Feeding Matters Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire© (ICFQ ©) (Silverman, Berlin, & Linn, 2020)
• the Feeding Matters Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire© 6-Question Screener (Silverman, Berlin, & Linn, 2020)