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Child Abuse Negl. 1988;12(3):375-81.

The efficacy of hospitalization of nonorganic failure-to-thrive children: a meta-analysis.

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University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.


This study ascertained the efficacy of hospitalization of children with nonorganic failure to thrive (NOFTT). A meta-analysis was performed on previously published research findings which met certain criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Two categories of outcome measures, physical growth pattern and psychosocial development, were quantitatively synthesized separately using standard meta-analytic techniques. Hospitalization was found to significantly enhance the probability of sustained catch-up physical growth among NOFTT children, but only a comparatively small effect size for hospitalization on their psychosocial development was documented. There remains need for prospective longitudinal study of effectiveness in treating NOFTT children. But meta-analysis is a powerful technique which introduces scientific rigor to the review of study results, none of which is singularly conclusive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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