The following is a summary of “Association of Tube Weaning and Oral Skill Development in Infants With Tube Dependency: A Prospective Study,” published in the September 2023 issue of Pediatrics by Pahsini, et al.
For a study, researchers sought to assess the development of oral skills in tube-dependent children during and after undergoing the “Graz Model” of tube weaning.
The prospective case series study included data from 67 tube-dependent children (35 females and 32 males) treated from March 2018 to April 2019 using the effective “Graz Model” of tube weaning. Parents of these children completed the standardized Pediatric Assessment Scale for Severe Feeding Problems (PASSFP) both before and immediately after the completion of the program. Paired sample t-tests were employed to analyze children’s oral skills changes from pre- to post-assessment.
The study revealed a significant improvement in oral skills during tube weaning, with the PASSFP score increasing from 24.76 (standard deviation, SD = 12.38) before the program to 47.97 (SD = 6.98) after its completion. Additionally, significant changes were observed in the children’s sensory and tactile perception and their general eating behavior. The children also exhibited reduced oral aversion symptoms and food pocketing, began to enjoy their meals and expanded their food preferences. Mealtime duration was shortened, and parents experienced reduced anxiety about their infants’ food intake and decreased frustration concerning their children’s eating behavior.
The study’s findings, for the first time, demonstrated that tube-dependent children can significantly enhance their oral skills during and after participating in the child-led approach of the “Graz Model” of tube weaning.