Use of parent report to screen for feeding difficulties in young children

Marshall, Jeanne, Raatz, Madeline, Ward, Elizabeth C. and Dodrill, Pamela (2015) Use of parent report to screen for feeding difficulties in young children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 51 3: 307-313. doi:10.1111/jpc.12729

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Author Marshall, Jeanne
Raatz, Madeline
Ward, Elizabeth C.
Dodrill, Pamela
Title Use of parent report to screen for feeding difficulties in young children
Journal name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1034-4810
Publication date 2015-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jpc.12729
Open Access Status
Volume 51
Issue 3
Start page 307
End page 313
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract

This study aimed to collect data on Australian children with regard to feeding difficulties using a standardised questionnaire, compare these data to international data collected using the same tool, assess the short-term reliability of this tool and determine the sensitivity and specificity of this tool in detecting feeding difficulties.


Parents completed the Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale. Data on 54 typically developing children and 81 children with feeding difficulties aged 2–6 years are presented.


Our Australian sample performed comparably to normative data from Canada and the UK. Reliable results were demonstrated over a 2-week period, and the scale was shown to have high specificity. There was a significant difference between typically developing children and children with feeding difficulties in frequency of undesirable mealtime behaviours (P < 0.01) and the number of behaviours reported as a problem by parents using this tool (P < 0.01).


This study confirmed that the Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale is a valid tool for identifying Australian children with feeding difficulties. Given that it is simple to administer and has a high reliability and specificity, it is suggested as a useful screening tool for physicians working with young children. Data collected using this tool found that typically developing children display few undesirable feeding behaviours, and few behaviours are perceived as problems by parents. Therefore, any child presenting with a large number of feeding problems on this parent-reported measure should be referred for further multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment as required.
Keyword Feeding behaviour
Childhood feeding difficulties
Referral and consultation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
Child Health Research Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 19 Mar 2015, 13:26:15 EST by Professor Elizabeth Ward on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences