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Midwifery. 2008 Sep;24(3):353-7. Epub 2007 Feb 5.

Case series of 148 tongue-tied newborn babies evaluated with the assessment tool for lingual frenulum function.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2615 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406, USA. madlo001@tc.umn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

the Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function (ATLFF) is the only available tool designed to assess newborn babies for the severity of tongue-tie. The aim of this study was to describe the ATLFF scores obtained on a series of 148 tongue-tied newborn babies.

DESIGN:

prospective case series.

SETTING:

a 420-bed community hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

PARTICIPANTS:

newborn babies admitted to the normal newborn nursery from October 1, 2000 to May 1 2002.

MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS:

all babies in the nursery were examined for tongue-tie. One-hundred and forty-eight tongue-tied babies were examined using the ATLFF by at least one of three examiners. The ATLFF could not be completed on five babies. Of the remaining babies, 40 (28%) received 'perfect' scores, five (3.5%) received 'acceptable' scores, and 19 (13.3%) received 'function impaired' scores. The remaining 79 (55.2%) babies received scores that did not fall into any of the three categories of scores. The inter-rater agreement on whether or not the baby had a score of 'function impaired' on the ATLFF was moderate (kappa=0.44).

KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

few tongue-tied babies had a score of 'function impaired' on the ATLFF. It is a major limitation of the ATLFF that it does not classify most babies. The development and testing of a useful tool to determine which tongue-tied babies will have difficulty with breast feeding remains a research priority.

PMID:
17276561
DOI:
10.1016/j.midw.2006.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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