Research & Practice

Pediatrician Survey: Assessment of Feeding Difficulties in Primary Care

Pediatricians in Washington state tend to delay referring children for assistance with feeding difficulties, compounded by long wait lists for this needed support. There is now an effort to create an improved, three-tier approach in the state to decrease the amount of time children and families spend waiting for feeding difficulty assistance, which includes: increasing our knowledge about pediatricians’ role in delaying this care, improving the communication about and understanding of feeding difficulties with pediatricians, and supporting pediatricians in the nutrition and feeding aspect of their care. The goal of the project was to increase stakeholder understanding of pediatricians’ nutrition and feeding screening, their confidence in providing nutrition and feeding care, and their approach to referrals for feeding difficulties. More than 1,000 pediatricians were surveyed, and results indicated that pediatricians may be slightly more confident in discussing nutrition than feeding with patient families. In addition, most pediatricians surveyed thought nutrition and feeding training (including case study review and interdisciplinary continuing education) would increase their confidence. Finally, there was wide variability among pediatricians in the percentage of patients with feeding difficulties they referred to specialists.

Community Partner: Institute on Human Development and Disability

Materials Available

Project Type(s): MPH Practicum

Author(s): Emilee Vann

Program(s): Master of Public Health, RDN Training

Year: 2023