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Summary of Systematic Review

A Review of Psychometric Properties of Feeding Assessment Tools Used in Neonates
Howe, T. H., Lin, K. C., et al. (2008).
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 37(3), 338-349.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review states a clearly focused question or aim No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality No
Quality assessments are reproducible N/A
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

This is a systematic review of the published scientific literature investigating the psychometric properties of neonatal clinical feeding assessment tools

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:
None stated.


Clinical feeding assessments

Number of Studies Included:

Years Included:


Pediatric Dysphagia

  • Assessment/Diagnosis

    • Clinical Examination

      • Seven tools were identified including:

        • Early Feeding Skills (EFS)

        • Infant Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (IBFAT)

        • LATCH

        • Mother-Baby Assessment (MBA)

        • Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment (NOMAS)

        • Preterm Infant Breastfeeding Behavior Scale (PIBBS)

        • Systematic Assessment of the Infant at Breast (SAIB)

      • The review raised several key concerns regarding the identified tools. First, the tools did not agree about what components constituted successful feeding behaviors. Second, the sample sizes of the studies were small and the selected participants did not fully represent the target population thus limiting their generalizability. Third, only one of the tools (NOMAS) examined internal consistency and responsiveness. These two properties are necessary if the tool is to be used to track changes over time.

      • The authors concluded that "a psychometrically sound neonate feeding assessment tool has not yet been empirically validated" (p. 347).

Sponsoring Body:
Not stated.

Feeding Disorders, Swallowing Disorders

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