Outcomes Measurement and Management: Interdisciplinary Feeding Team: Data Management of Evaluations and Outcomes Pediatric feeding difficulties are among the most frustrating problems for clinicians and families. A team approach to the evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing problems was established as a comprehensive approach for these often complex problems (Burklow, Phelps, Schultz, McConnell, & Randolph, 1998; Lefton-Greif & Arvedson, 1997; ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2002
Outcomes Measurement and Management: Interdisciplinary Feeding Team: Data Management of Evaluations and Outcomes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jean E. Ashland
    Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Nancy M. Terres
    Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Carmen Vega-BarachowitzColumn Editor
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Outcomes Measurement and Management
Article   |   June 01, 2002
Outcomes Measurement and Management: Interdisciplinary Feeding Team: Data Management of Evaluations and Outcomes
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, June 2002, Vol. 12, 5-8. doi:10.1044/aas12.2.5
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, June 2002, Vol. 12, 5-8. doi:10.1044/aas12.2.5
Pediatric feeding difficulties are among the most frustrating problems for clinicians and families. A team approach to the evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing problems was established as a comprehensive approach for these often complex problems (Burklow, Phelps, Schultz, McConnell, & Randolph, 1998; Lefton-Greif & Arvedson, 1997; Wooster, Brady, Mitchell, Grizzle, & Barnes, 1998). A variety of team philosophies have been described in the literature, including multidis-ciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches for both inpatient and ambulatory/outpatient cases (Wooster et al.). Regardless of the type of team method used, documenting the efficacy of team management of pediatric feeding problems is important. Successful outcomes from team management have included improved nutrition, reduced acute care admissions, improved oral intake and feeding skills, and better growth. (Lucas, Feucht, & Nardella, 2000; Schwarz, Corredor, Fisher-Medina, Cohen, & Rabinowitz, 2001). Lucas and colleagues reported that team evaluation and management for pediatric feeding problems was cost-effective compared to the avoided medical costs of acute hospitalizations for 28 of the 30 children whom they followed receiving nutrition or feeding team services. Documentation of feeding team outcomes involves keeping track of a number of factors, including demographics, medical diagnoses, medical and feeding history, nutrition and growth, oral motor and swallowing abilities, developmental feeding skills, parent-child interaction, motor development that impacts positioning during feeding episodes, community resources and treatment services being provided, team recommendations, and also child behavior or environmental factors that may have an impact on feeding performance. Managing such information requires a focused approach to generate measurement outcomes that demonstrate efficacy. This is especially important in today’s health care system with reduced resources, smaller staffs, and the need to remain cost effective (Lefton-Greif & Arvedson, 1997).
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