What knowledge do parents have of safe swallowing in their infant and what can help ensure a safe swallow?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Non-clinically relevant reports by parents of infant feeding problems are a primary concern for Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) in the paediatric field. Only 1-2% of reports of infant feeding difficulties are actually cases of dysphagia and considered clinically relevant (Aldridge, Dovey, Martin and Meyer 2010). In the United Kingdom there is little research into how knowledgeable parents are of what happens when their child doesn’t swallow safely and whether this is contributing to non-clinically relevant reports. Methods: 65 self-administrated questionnaires were filled out by parents who had children between the ages of 4 months and 2 years old. The questionnaires produced qualitative and quantitative data which was analysed using thematic analysis, descriptive analysis, T-tests and One Way ANOVA testing. Results: With a response rate of 49.2% initial results show that the majority of participants weaned their child before the recommended age of 6 months. Parents found the weaning experience a positive one. T-testing revealed no statistical significance between 1st time and 2nd time parents’ anxiety levels (p=0.205). Parents have a good knowledge of choking, ANOVA test discovered there was no difference between 1st time and 2nd time parents (p=0.883). Good knowledge of strategies to prevent choking was demonstrated by participants, and if they were to experience problems they would seek help from their General Practitioner (GP) or Health Visitor. Parents also adhered well to strategies to prevent choking and aspiration. iv Conclusions: The findings suggest that parents have good knowledge of choking and strategies that prevent choking and aspiration. There were behavioural feeding problems reported by participants, which implies that a behavioural feeding service to be implemented into the geographical area. All results need to be confirmed with further research containing a larger sample, in order to be generalised.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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