Current practice in the management of children with cerebral palsy: a national survey of paediatric dietitians

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Abstract Background 

Dietitians play a key role in the clinical management of children with cerebral palsy. This survey was conducted with the aim of establishing an overview of current dietetic practice in the management of these children. Method 

A questionnaire which asked for information on aspects of dietetic practice relating to children with cerebral palsy was circulated to members of the British Dietetic Association during May to October 2000. Results 

Many respondents had a small caseload size. However, a larger caseload was linked to membership of a multi-disciplinary team, a greater proportion of severely disabled children and use of a wider range of anthropometric measurements. Dietitians who were members of a multi-disciplinary team were more likely to visit children at home. Conclusions 

This survey provides an overview of current dietetic practice in the UK regarding the management of children with cerebral palsy. There is a potential shortfall in specialist dietitians and this survey highlights some of the gaps in service provision. Children with cerebral palsy benefit from dietetic input and there is an increasing need for specialist dietitians to be involved in their management. It will be necessary to continue to identify any gaps and find ways to overcome them.

Keywords: cerebral palsy; children; dietitian; survey

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Child Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne and

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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