Early nutrition intervention along with interdisciplinary care is important for premature infants because malnutrition often leads to poor growth in this population.1,2 Poor growth in preterm infants results in subsequent neurocognitive development as there is an association between deficient postnatal growth and poor neurologic outcome up to age 19.1,2 It is important to focus on an infant’s nutrition, feeding, and any gastroenterology concerns after hospital discharge to prevent poor growth. Most importantly, it is essential to have an interdisciplinary care monitoring infant care and outcomes in an outpatient setting; however, this service is lacking in Northeast Florida. The newly developed pediatric interdisciplinary feeding clinic (within Nemours Children’s Health and Wolfson’s Rehab) aims to provide prompt care to preterm infants. To determine the impact of the feeding clinic, the study plans to review preterm infants’ nutritional status in the feeding clinic group (e.g., change in z-score of weight-for-length and change in z-score of weight-for-age) and compare to retrospective data of a similar study population, preterm infants who are in the current setting (multidisciplinary care) and not enrolled in the feeding clinic in six months period. In turn, it is hypothesized that infants enrolled in the newly developed pediatric interdisciplinary outpatient feeding clinic will have greater improvements in markers of nutritional status when compared to those infants not enrolled in the feeding clinic. This study will also evaluate the incidence of malnutrition within the study population by categorizing it into malnutrition and non-malnutrition groups. This study will utilize a retrospective-prospective before-after study design. In addition, this study will evaluate caregiver compliance with health care provider recommendations between the groups. Ultimately, this study aims to determine the benefits of a newly developed pediatric interdisciplinary outpatient feeding 9 clinic composed of a Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner, Registered Dietitian, and Feeding Pathologist. The results from the study will hopefully provide a glimpse of the nutrition-related benefits of an infant feeding clinic, which may lead to potential funding for future expansion.
Leung, Doretta, "DCN Dissertation Proposal: The impact of a pediatric interdisciplinary outpatient feeding clinic on preterm infant weight gain and caregiver compliance with feeding recommendations" (2022). Dean's Leadership Council Library Research Prize. 2.