Effect of Nursing Interventions on Feeding Difficulties of Children with Cerebral Palsy
Context: Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a static non-progressive brain disorder defined as a group of motor disorders resulting from brain damage before, during, or after birth. Children with CP frequently have feeding problems, growth disorders, feeding complications, communication disorders, mental obstruction, seizure disorders, auditory problems, and visual deficiency, which may significantly impact their health.
Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the effect of nursing interventions on feeding difficulties of children with cerebral palsy.
Methods: A quasi-experimental (pre/post-test) research design was utilized in this study that was conducted at the Neurologic Specialized Clinic at Children's Hospital affiliated to Ain Shams University Hospitals. A convenient sample of forty-five children with CP having feeding difficulties and their mothers was selected from the previously mentioned setting. Data were collected by using three tools, a structured interview questionnaire and a Children Observation Assessment Record to assess the child's ability and feeding difficulties of the studied children before and after the intervention.
Results: The study reveals a mother's mean age of 31.33±4.46 and a child's mean age of 6.28±2.91. The children's assessment reveals that 84.4% of cerebral palsy children were hypotonic. Pre and post-test comparisons of children's BMI revealed a statistically significant difference at p=0.018, and feeding difficulties revealed a statistically significant difference in spoon feeding p= 0.007, biting p=0.002, chewing p=0.003, cup drinking p= 0.005, swallowing p=0.001, and drooling during eating p=0.009.
Conclusion: The study concluded that the supportive nursing intervention program was successful in improving the feeding difficulties as regards spoon feeding, biting, chewing, cup drinking, swallowing, and drooling during eating after the intervention compared to the children's pre-intervention level. The study recommended applying supportive nursing interventions for children with CP having feeding difficulties as a main supportive nursing intervention to overcome feeding difficulties.
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