Psychometric Properties of the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire


Objectives: To report the updated psychometric properties of a child feeding questionnaire and to report the psychometric properties of a screening tool developed from this questionnaire. A secondary objective was to consider if items from a behavior checklist embedded within the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire may be useful in making referrals for feeding problems. Study design: Caregivers of children younger than the age of 4 years with pediatric feeding disorders (as defined by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, criteria) were recruited from 2 outpatient clinics. A comparison group with no feeding problems was recruited during well child checks from community clinics. Caregivers completed a demographic questionnaire and a child feeding questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory analyses identified questionnaire items that differentiated groups. Remaining items were summed and area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity values were calculated to describe the resulting screening tool. ORs of behaviors from the embedded behavior checklist were calculated to determine whether specific behaviors could be useful for referrals. Results: Responses of 989 caregivers (pediatric feeding disorders, n = 331; no feeding problems, n = 650) were obtained. Six questions of the child feeding questionnaire differentiated groups accounting for 60% of variance. Sensitivity (73%) and specificity (93%) were greater when any 2 or more of these 6 items was endorsed. Three items of the embedded feeding behaviors checklist show promise for referrals to specific provider disciplines. Conclusions: A pediatric feeding disorders screening tool consisting of 6 questions from a child feeding questionnaire is psychometrically sound. Use of this tool may expedite referrals for treatment. Further study of the embedded behavior checklist may be useful for clinical referrals.

Publication Title

Journal of Pediatrics