Affiliations: [a] Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands | [b] Department of Rehabilitation, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands | [c] Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands | [d] Brain Center Rudolph Magnus and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht and De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: Dorinda Snik, Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University Medical Center, Oktaviastraat 10, 6515 CM Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 630110984; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: There is a considerable risk of malnutrition for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) due to insufficient nutritional intake. The most important causes of insufficient intake are feeding problems which are highly prevalent in children with CP (depending on definition, age and heterogeneity of the researched population). Considering these facts, nutritional status should have the full attention of healthcare professionals but this is not yet the case. Evidence from research in clinical practice suggests that: 1) there is no consensus regarding who should perform the measurement and how often, 2) no standardised nutritional assessment is implemented, and 3) there is suboptimal communication and management about feeding and nutritional status in most healthcare networks. To overcome these problems, validated and practical tools for the screening and assessment of nutritional status should be a topic of research and subsequently made available and implemented in clinical practice. Because body composition is an objective indicator of available energy stores, research should focus on optimising measurement methods to determine body composition using anthropometric measures or bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Furthermore, there is a definite need among health care providers for explicit and clear agreements on organisation and communication about nutritional care for children with CP.
Keywords: Nutrition, cerebral palsy, body composition, malnutrition, nutritional management