You do not have JavaScript Enabled on this browser. Please enable it in order to use the full functionality of our website.

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

The Cochrane Collaboration; Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth, Australia
Feed Thickener for Newborn Infants with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux

Huang, R. C., Forbes, D., et al. (2002).
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3).

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 systematic review of randomized controlled trials investigating the use of feeding thickeners in infants with gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR).

Question(s) Addressed:

Does the, “thickening of infant milk feeds reduce GOR in newborn infants as manifested by: (a) a reduction in the signs and symptoms of reflux; or (b) a reduced number and duration of acid reflux episodes based on arbitrarily defined criteria on 24 hour ambulatory pH probe monitoring or by use of intraluminal impedance; or (c) decreased oesophagitis on biopsy?” (p. 4).

Population: “Newborn infants with signs or symptoms suggestive of GOR, or newborn infants with diagnosis of GOR based on 24 hour ambulatory pH monitoring and/or oesophagitis on biopsy. Newborn infants were defined as full term infants less than 28 days. Preterm infants were included up to 44 weeks (postmenstrual) corrected age. Age criteria should be fulfilled at time of initial diagnosis” (p. 4).

Intervention/Assessment: “Thickeners of all types including rice, gum, or flour based, added to all types of milk including formula and human milk, versus no treatment or placebo” (p. 4).

Number of Studies Included: 0

Years Included: Through 2004**



There is no current evidence to support or refute the use of feed thickeners in treating newborn babies with gastroesophageal reflux.

Keywords: Swallowing Disorders, Diet Modification

Access the Review


*There is a description of quality assessments that would have been conducted if studies were included.

**This review was assessed as up-to-date as of April 2004. The search did not reveal new studies so the record publication date remains 2002.

Added to Compendium: January 2012

ASHA Corporate Partners