Current management of transitional feeding issues in preterm neonates born in Queensland, Australia

Dodrill, P., McMahon, S., Donovan, T., & Cleghorn, Geoffrey J. (2008) Current management of transitional feeding issues in preterm neonates born in Queensland, Australia. Early Human Development, 84(10), pp. 637-643.

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Background: Many preterm neonates display difficulty establishing suck-feeding competence in the weeks following birth. Ineffective management of transitional feeding issues may cause patient complications, and can contribute to increased length of stay. Aims: Given that many neonatal nurseries appear to vary in their neonatal feeding management practices, the aim of this study was to investigate and document the routine level of support and intervention currently provided for preterm neonates with transitional feeding issues across the various level II (special care) nurseries (SCNs) in Queensland, Australia. Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to all Queensland SCNs in 2005 (n = 36). The questionnaire contained a series of closed-choice and short-answer questions designed to obtain information from each SCN regarding their current practices for managing transitional feeding issues in preterm neonates. Results were confirmed during a follow-up phone call. Results: Responses were obtained from 29 SCNs (80.6%). None of these nurseries reported having any formal, written policies regarding the management of transitional feeding issues in preterm neonates. Wide variations were reported in relation to the suck-feeding assessments and interventions used by staff within the various SCNs. Of the 29 nurseries, 4 (13.8%) reported using checklists or assessments to judge readiness for suck-feeds, and 5 (17.2%) reported using pulse oximetry to judge tolerance of suck-feeding attempts. Eighteen SCNs (62.1%) reported offering some form of active intervention to assist neonates with transitional feeding issues, with the most common intervention techniques reported being non-nutritive sucking during tube feeds, pre-feeding oral stimulation, and actively pacing suck-feeds. Twenty-two SCNs (75.4%) reported having access to a lactation consultant to assist mothers with breastfeeding issues. Conclusions: Differences were reported in the routine management of transitional feeding issues in preterm neonates across the various SCNs in Queensland. It is suggested that evidence based guidelines need to be developed, and that, in order to do this, further research studies are required to determine current best practice, as well as to answer remaining questions. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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ID Code: 89306
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Cited By :6
Export Date: 1 September 2015
Correspondence Address: Dodrill, P.; Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, University of QueenslandAustralia; email:
Keywords: Infant feeding, Management practices, Neonate, Preterm, article, Australia, breast feeding education, controlled study, feeding behavior, follow up, human, newborn, newborn intensive care, nursing practice, outcome assessment, outpatient care, prematurity, pulse oximetry, structured questionnaire, sucking, tube feeding, Breast Feeding, Enteral Nutrition, Female, Humans, Infant Nutrition Disorders, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Nurse Administrators, Questionnaires, Sucking Behavior, Treatment Outcome
DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2008.04.004
ISSN: 0378-3782
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2015 00:03
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2015 04:05

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