Feeding interventions for children with cerebral palsy: a review of the evidence

Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2011 Feb;31(1):58-77. doi: 10.3109/01942638.2010.523397. Epub 2010 Oct 18.


Aim: To examine the evidence of the effectiveness of different feeding interventions for children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: A search of 12 electronic databases identified all relevant studies. For each study, the quality of the methods was assessed according to the study design. A total of 33 articles were retrieved, and 21 studies were included in the final analysis.

Results: Feeding interventions were separated into five main categories: oral sensorimotor facilitation, food consistency, positioning, oral appliances, and adaptive equipment. Five studies were randomized controlled trials. Outcomes were mainly reported on feeding safety and efficiency. One study documented positive results in height and weight change. Nineteen of the 21 studies presented positive outcomes in eating efficiency and/or safety.

Interpretation: Feeding interventions demonstrate potential benefits for children with cerebral palsy. However, the current level of evidence is poor, and empirical data are lacking. Methodologically, rigorous studies are required particularly investigating multimodal approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Child
  • Disabled Children / rehabilitation*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Feeding Methods*
  • Humans