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Pediatric Feeding Disorder—Consensus Definition and Conceptual Framework

Praveen S. Goday, Susanna Y. Huh, Alan Silverman, et al. JPGN 2019;68: 124–129

Pediatric feeding disorders (PFDs) lack a universally accepted definition. Feeding disorders require comprehensive assessment and treatment of 4 closely related, complementary domains (medical, psychosocial, and feeding skill-based systems and associated nutritional complications). Previous diagnostic paradigms have, however, typically defined feeding disorders using the lens of a single professional discipline and fail to characterize associated functional limitations that are critical to plan appropriate interventions and improve quality of life. Using the framework of the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health, a unifying diagnostic term is proposed: ‘‘Pediatric Feeding Disorder’’ (PFD), defined as impaired oral intake that is not age-appropriate, and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill, and/or psychosocial dysfunction. By incorporating associated functional limitations, the proposed diagnostic criteria for PFD should enable practitioners and researchers to better characterize the needs of heterogeneous patient populations, facilitate inclusion of all relevant disciplines in treatment planning, and promote the use of common, precise, terminology necessary to advance clinical practice, research, and health-care policy.