The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1824-7288-40-61) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
PV and MS designed the study, and prepared the last draft of the manuscript. PV supervised the study. MS coordinated clinical and anthropometric data collection and wrote the first draft. RD made substantial contributions to acquisition and interpretation of data. RA, PP, MB, GS, EP, GC contributed with their own patients, critically improved the study protocol, and revised the manuscript. GM and PP elaborated nutritional data of the patients. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Several neuromotor disorders share exclusive, although often overlooked, nutritional problems. The objective of this study is therefore to delineate the frequency of malnutrition, evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional care, and identify issues needing to be possibly strengthened when caring for these patients into a general pediatrics department.
The study included 30 patients, 21 males and 9 females, aged between 2 and 15 years, affected by cerebral palsy, epileptic encephalopathy, and severe psychomotor developmental delay.
Nutritional status was assessed by a dietary questionnaire administered to parents to investigate feeding difficulties; 3 days food diary to quantify daily calorie intake; anthropometrical (weight, height/length, body mass index percentiles, plicometry, specific body segments measurement) and blood (blood count, serum iron, albumin, transferrin, calcium, phosphorus) parameters.
More than 44% individuals of the study population was at risk of malnutrition, according to feeding difficulties, progressive depletion of weight, reduced daily calorie intake, reduced albumin and transferrin levels. This occurred despite a massive caregivers commitment, as documented by almost universal parental constant assistance during their long-duration meals.
Our results individuate the nutritional aspect being still a problem in the care of children with severe neuromotor disability.
Authors’ original file for figure 113052_2014_562_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
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