An experience-based treatment model for children unwilling to eat
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An experience-based treatment model for children unwilling to eat

Ingalill Ek Registered speech and language pathologist, Folke Bernadotte Regional Habilitation Centre, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University, Sweden
Anette Höglund Registered physiotherapist, Folke Bernadotte Regional Habilitation Centre, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University, Sweden
Helene Lidström Senior lecturer, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden

A Swedish study looks at ways of encouraging children to change their habits at mealtimes and helps parents adapt to these new approaches

Background Guidance during Meals is a two-week inpatient intervention undertaken at the Folke Bernadotte Regional Habilitation Centre, Sweden, to help parents deal with children’s eating problems. Parents are given advice about medical and/or behavioural reasons for food selectivity and possible treatment strategies.

Aims To identify the way parents handle mealtimes and associated difficulties and investigate parents’ opinion on children’s progress using Guidance during Meals.

Method A questionnaire, consisting of 30 statements and answered by 41 parents, was used to investigate parents’ opinions regarding the success of the intervention in altering their child’s eating habits at home.

Findings Most parents thought that the intervention had helped them and their child, by teaching them how to guide their child during mealtimes, what made it easier for their child to eat, and how to communicate with their child in an encouraging way. Most children retained their increased interest in eating once back at home.

These results were not dependent on time of onset of eating problems, number of intervention periods, length of time since the intervention, or gastrostomy.

Conclusion The Guidance during Meals intervention helps parents develop knowledge about factors that hinder or facilitate eating in their child and tools that can help their child finish meals, and gives them a sense of hope that positive change can occur.

Nursing Children and Young People. 28, 5,22-28. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.28.5.22.s22

Correspondence

helene.lidstrom@liu.se

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 15 September 2015

Accepted: 16 November 2015