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Lancet. 1988 Feb 6;1(8580):283-6.

Identification of children with cerebral palsy unable to maintain a normal nutritional state.

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School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


7 children aged 2-16 with severe cerebral palsy and growth failure were compared with children of the same weight in respect of their eating efficiency. Children with cerebral palsy took 2-12 times longer to chew and swallow a standard amount of puréed food and 1-15 times longer for solid food than did their weight-controls. A behaviour score of feeding characteristics was higher in children with cerebral palsy than in controls. Even long meal times do not compensate for the severity of these childrens' feeding impairment. The measurements of feeding efficiency provides the basis for early identification of children who cannot be adequately nourished without ancillary feeding by nasogastric tube or by enterostomy.

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