Prevalence of feeding related issues/difficulties in Taiwanese children with history of prematurity, 2003-2006

Tsu Hsin Howe, Chyong Hsin Hsu, Mei Wun Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feeding problems are common problems seen in premature infants following their discharge from the NICU. However, the prevalence of feeding issues and failure to thrive among preterm infants in Taiwan is uncertain. All former studies of prevalence and identifications of feeding issues were from western countries. Those findings are therefore not representative. The objectives of this study were to understand the proportion of feeding problems and its trend in Taiwanese children who were born prematurely as well as to identify the medical and rehabilitation needs related to feeding difficulties in children with premature history. We investigated the prevalence of feeding problems in 2003-2006 using random subjects of 5% of the enrollees in the National Health Insurance program of Taiwan. Databases used in this study include 'monthly claim summary for ambulatory care claims', 'inpatient expenditures by admissions', 'details of ambulatory care orders, etc. ICD-9 codes of preterm infants and related diagnoses were used as variables. According to this systematical sampling data, there is a rise in the percentage of children admitted to the hospital with low birth weight. High percentage of these children experienced feeding related issues/difficulties in their first 5 years of life. However, under-utilization of rehabilitation services were noted with these low birth weight children who had feeding problems. There is a high co-occurrence between low birth weight children and feeding problems in their first 5 years of life measured by frequency of hospital admissions or outpatient ambulatory care services requirement. It is recommended based on our results that children with low birth weight should be screened automatically for potential feeding difficulties during the hospital stay. Furthermore, feeding monitoring/management as well as parental education on potential risk for feeding difficulties should be incorporated in the early intervention program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Feeding related issues
  • Low birth weight
  • Prevalence
  • feeding problems
  • Taiwanese children
  • childhood development
  • pediatric development
  • premature infants
  • prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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