Date of Award

Summer 6-29-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Anita Nucci

Second Advisor

Dr. Sheena Carter

Third Advisor

Dr. Sarah Henes

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of the Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) in identifying children at risk for feeding difficulties when given to parents by interview versus without assistance. Thirty subjects from Emory Developmental Progress Clinic (Emory DPC) participated in the study and were randomized to receive the BPFAS either by interview or without assistance. Mean BPFAS scores were compared by survey administration method and nutrition referral status for the total cohort as well as by age (1.5 year) and weight status (<25th percentile, 25-75th percentile, >75th percentile) using the t-test. The association between survey administration method as well as nutrition referral status and referral score category (84) was determined using the Chi-square test, as was the relationship between nutrition referral status and the response to each BPFAS question. No difference in mean BPFAS score or referral score category by survey administration method was found in the total cohort. However, a higher BPFAS score was observed for children >1.5 years of age who were referred for nutrition intervention vs. not referred (95.33 vs. 62.5, respectively; p=0.004). There was also a significant association between the number of patients referred for nutrition intervention vs. not referred and referral score (11 vs. 19, respectively; p=0.041). There was no association between responses to individual BPFAS questions and nutrition referral status. In conclusion, evaluation of other feeding assessment surveys or the in-house development of a screening tool may be better alternatives for the Emory DPC.

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