PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
This study evaluated the psychosocial effects associated with dietary restriction in children with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) and their families. It assessed behavioral feeding problems among children with EGID compared with healthy children, determining if behavioral feeding problems among children with EGID affect adherence to dietary restrictions and if these behavioral feeding problems are associated with parenting stress.
Patients between the ages of 2.5 and 18 years who had a primary diagnosis of EGID, including eosinophilic esophagitis or eosinophilic gastroenteritis. Healthy comparison children were gender- and age-matched (±2 years) to children with EGID. Ninety-two subjects with EGID and 89 healthy comparison subjects were included in the analyses.
Parents completed validated questionnaires to identify behavioral feeding problems, parenting stress, and adherence to dietary restrictions. Statistical analyses were performed to compare these parameters in children with EGID and healthy children.
Children with EGID had significantly higher levels of behavioral feeding problems than healthy controls (P < .001), with younger children demonstrating higher levels of behavioral feeding problems than older children. Behavioral feeding problems were not predictive of adherence to dietary restriction recommendations but were associated with parenting stress.
Behavior feeding problems are an important consideration in children with EGID and are associated with higher parenting stress.
This study is unique in that it systematically examines behavioral feeding problems among a large sample of children with EGID and the impact on caregivers, highlighting the relationship between behavioral feeding difficulties and parenting stress in this pediatric population. The presence of a control group of healthy children is a strength of this study. Providers involved in the care of children with EGID should recognize the relationship between feeding difficulties associated with restrictive diets and caregiver stress. A multidisciplinary treatment approach including psychologists and speech providers may be useful in providing support to these families.
- Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics