Dietetics Practices for Nutritional Management of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Cross-sectional Study in Saudi Arabia among the Practicing Dietitians

Ali Madi Almajwal*
Clinical Nutrition Program, Community Health Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding Author Email Address: aalmajwal123@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
Background: Dietitians paly key role in nutritional management of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Objective: Main objective of this study was to investigate the current dietetics practices in nutritional management of CP children in Saudi Arabia. Participants and Methods: In total 60 dietitians, working in various hospitals of Saudi Arabia participated in this cross-sectional study. Data on current dietetics practices and barriers in care of CP children were collected. Questions on dietetics practices for nutritional management of CP children were sent through an online questionnaire and/or emailed to dietitians. Results: Majority of dietitians were female (76.6%) and members of a multidisciplinary team (63.9%). Most (86%) had up to 5 patients per week on their caseload and mostly used weight for age, height for age and weight for height and BMI as preferred methods for assessment of growth/ nutritional status and body composition. Time constraints and lack of specialist dietitians were perceived as top barriers preventing dietitians from running nutrition clinics. Majority of dietitians perform only limited dietetics practice strategies. Dietitians who were members of a multi-disciplinary team were more likely to use best dietetics practices for assessment of nutritional status and nutrients intake. Conclusion: Although dietitians provide dietetics care to CP children, there is a potential shortfall in the care of CP children in Saudi Arabia and though several basic therapeutic approaches are followed, the results revealed several gaps in their dietetic practices. Induction of specialist dietitians for nutritional management in hospitals is warranted.

Keywords: Cerebral Palsy, Dietetics Practices, Nutritional Care, Saudi Arabia
Citation: Ali Madi Almajwal. Dietetics Practices for Nutritional Management of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Cross-sectional Study in Saudi Arabia among the Practicing Dietitians. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019; 7 (2): 7-26.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14206/canad.j.clin.nutr.2019.02.02

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