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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Criteria for Determining Disability in Infants and Children: Failure to Thrive

Perrin, E. C., Cole, C. H., et al. (2003).
AHRQ Publication No. 03-E026. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a review of cross-sectional or longitudinal published studies with control that investigates disabilities in children with failure to thrive (FTT).

Question(s) Addressed:

Whether children who are defined by investigators as failure to thrive or grow adequately have a concurrent disability, or will have one within six months. 

Population: Children 18 years of age or younger

Intervention/Assessment: Not applicable

Number of Studies Included: 43

Years Included: 1966 – September 2001



  • Assessment/Diagnosis
    • Assessment Areas
      • Swallowing/Feeding - “Four studies noted concurrent feeding disorders in children diagnosed with FTT. Behavior problems were more common in children with FTT, even beyond those children who were known to be failing to grow on the basis of neurological or other organic damage or disease. Children had such factors as increased negative affect and decreased positive affect during feeding compared to controls, with no difference in non-feeding situations. Severity of malnutrition, but not presence of organic disease, was associated with affective outcomes. Also, parents reported more feeding problems during infancy for the FTT cases, and described their children as uninterested or poor eaters” (p. 3). 

Keywords: Swallowing Disorders

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Added to Compendium: December 2011

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