Purpose of review: There is increased recognition in the range of feeding and swallowing problems that occur in conjunction with congenital and acquired pediatric conditions. Differential diagnosis and management of these problems is often not straightforward and requires consideration and collaboration between multiple disciplines that are involved in the care of this special population. This article reviews recent investigations across disciplines regarding the cause and evaluation of pediatric feeding and swallowing issues, intervention efficacy, and available evidence to guide clinical practice.
Recent findings: Knowledge of the basis for feeding issues associated with a variety of causes has advanced. Recent investigations of specific feeding and swallowing issues accompanying prematurity, selected diagnoses, and congenital syndromes are described. Significant advancements in the objective analysis of nonnutritive sucking have been made and provide increased understanding of the precursors for transition to oral feeding. Preliminary evidence regarding the effectiveness of selected clinical interventions to treat feeding and swallowing issues is highlighted.
Summary: Research is increasingly available to guide practitioners in evidence-based evaluation and management of pediatric feeding and swallowing issues. These continued advancements increase our understanding of the causes of pediatric dysphagia, the efficacy of treatment, and underscore the opportunities for continued research for best practice in clinical evaluation and management.