Children born preterm and full term have similar rates of feeding problems at three years of age

Tjitske Nieuwenhuis*, Elise A. Verhagen, Arend F. Bos, Marijn W. G. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim: We determined the prevalence of feeding problems and their association with perinatal risk factors in three-year-old children born preterm and compared them with a full-term reference group.

Methods: This pilot study assessed feeding problem scores in 35 preterm children, with a median gestational age of 30 weeks (range 26-32) and median birthweight of 1260 grams (730-2250), who were enrolled during their admission to a neonatal intensive care unit. These were compared with existing data on 248 term children from child healthcare centres at the age of three. We excluded children with severe perinatal complications from the reference group. The Screeningslijst Eetgedrag Peuters (SEP), a validated Dutch version of the Montreal Children's Hospital Feeding Scale, was used to identify feeding problems.

Results: We found no difference in SEP scores between the preterm children and the reference group (p = 0.217) and did not identify any perinatal risk factors for developing feeding problems. Only 23% of the parents of preterm or term children with moderate-to-severe feeding problems consulted a medical professional.

Conclusion: Using a parental report instrument showed that the prevalence of feeding problems in three-year-old preterm children was low and similar to that of term children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e452-e457
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number10
Early online date10-Jun-2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2016


  • Feeding skills
  • Parental report
  • Perinatal risk factors
  • Preterm children
  • Screening list eating behaviour
  • CARE
  • RISK

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