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Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição

On-line version ISSN 2183-5985

Abstract

CUNHA, Joana et al. Feeding Difficulties in Children and Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy. Acta Port Nutr [online]. 2020, n.22, pp.28-37. ISSN 2183-5985.  http://dx.doi.org/10.21011/apn.2020.2206.

Introduction: Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders in movement and posture development resulting from fetus’ or child’s brain damage. These changes often lead to feeding difficulties and may be related to inadequate food intake, nutritional status, motor function, meals length and dependence, quality of life of child and caregivers. Objectives: To review feeding difficulties in children and young people with Cerebral Palsy and its impact on health and life quality. Methodology: Synthesize and analyze feeding difficulties described in scientific articles, based on PRISMA methods. Then, analyze the negative effect of these difficulties on health and quality of life in the pediatric population with Cerebral Palsy. Results: A total of 19 studies were selected for this review. All articles reported eating difficulties. Eleven scientific articles mentioned oromotor eating difficulties, 6 identified gastrointestinal problems, 8 described the need of assistance during mealtimes and 1 food refusal. The association between eating skills and motor function was reported in 6 studies. Ten articles revealed food intake was compromised and 4 stated that it may lead to the use of other feeding routes, such as gastrostomy. The low quality of life of these children and their caregivers was described in 3 studies. Conclusions: Feeding difficulties are frequent in Cerebral Palsy population. Although the recommendation for consulting a nutritionist is uncommon it should occur as soon as complications arise to minimize the consequences and improving nutritional status and life quality.

Keywords : Feeding; Dietary intervention; Nutrition; Cerebral Palsy; Feeding problems.

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