Retrospective Data Analysis on the Characteristics in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Infants' Feeding Patterns




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Purpose: The goal of this study is to identify and describe infant characteristics that are significantly associated with receiving instrumental swallowing assessment (ISA). Hypothesis: Infant and maternal medical history and demographics, and feeding and swallowing outcomes will have significant associations with receiving ISA. Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional study included infants that were in the Baylor University Medical System's NICU from 2019 to 2021. Characteristics on infant and maternal demographics and medical history as well as infant dysphagia symptoms were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. Results: Infants (n=205) diagnosed with BPD/chronic lung disease (OR=2.64; 95% CI: 1.26, 5.55) and had a tongue tie (OR=2.93; 95% CI: 1.52, 5.64) as well as experienced respiratory complications (OR=9.34; 95% CI: 2.18, 40.02), apnea/bradycardia (OR=7.49; 95% CI: 2.75, 20.35), cough/choke (OR=3.36; 95% CI: 1.59, 7.13), oral pooling (OR=6.53; 95% CI: 1.72, 24.87), oral phase incoordination (OR=4.27; 95% CI: 1.16, 15.73), and nasal/pharyngeal congestion (OR=3.03; 95% CI: 1.43, 6.42) during the feeding evaluations were significantly associated with receiving ISA. Infants of multiple gestations (OR=0.40; 95% CI: 0.19, 0.86) and higher APGAR 1-minute scores (OR=0.83; 95% CI: 0.72, 0.96) were significantly less likely to receive ISA. Conclusion: This study suggested that variables within infant demographics, medical history, and dysphagia symptoms have significant associations to receiving ISA. However, variables within maternal demographics and medical history have no significant associations.