Growth and Nutrition Program | Research & Innovation

The clinicians in the Growth and Nutrition Program (GNP) are engaged in research and quality improvement projects aimed at broadening our understanding of pediatric feeding disorders and improving patient care.

Current Projects

Access to non-dairy milk beverages and commercially-available thickeners. Many of these beverages are not covered by insurance, so families must have the financial resources to purchase these products out-of-pocket. The inability to afford these beverages when recommended by the GNP team increases risk for malnutrition and its associated complications. The purpose of this intervention is to assess whether providing easy access to samples of such beverages and thickeners to patients with limited financial resources improves patient outcomes. This research is supported by a grant from The DAISY Foundation.

GNP long-term outcomes: What happens to our GNP patients post-discharge? This project involves using chart review of all patients followed in our program over the past two decades to determine height, weight, and BMI outcomes. We also will study whether certain interventions are associated with increased BMI in both short- and long-term patient groups.

Telehealth satisfaction surveys (patient and provider). To understand whether patients and providers feel that telehealth is helpful and effective, families and providers completed a 10-minute survey about their GNP telehealth experience.

GNP transition improvement. This project aims to improve the experience of patients who are scheduled for a new visit in the GNP.

GNP bridge process. Our program cares for infants and young children (ages 0-7) who have feeding difficulties and struggle to gain weight. We are working to ensure a care plan that extends beyond age 7 for those patients who are not yet ready to graduate. Starting in July 2021, a subset of our team including a GI provider, dietitian, and behavioral psychologist will work with already-enrolled GNP patients to help prepare them for their next step in treatment. We will work with each individual family to identify best options.

Health disparities within GNP. Ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic health disparities are associated with other known risk factors for pediatric feeding disorders. Most research to date only includes limited populations. Better understanding patient characteristics is an important first step to identifying barriers to accessing care and ensuring equitable treatment within GNP.

Selected completed projects and presentations

Lubenow, C, Fleet, S, Carr, K, Rouse, A, Elverson, W, Truscott, K, Davidson, R D. Proposal 10849. EoE: When picky eating isn’t just picky eating. Accepted at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (convention cancelled). San Diego, California

Davidson, R D, Carmody, J. (2021) Pediatric feeding across developmental stages: Utilizing families in outpatient treatment model. Invited presentation (selected abstract). Feeding Matters: 2021 International Pediatric Feeding Disorders Conference. Virtual Webcast.

Davidson, R D, Fleet, S. (2021). Telehealth satisfaction in a multidisciplinary pediatric feeding disorders clinic: Patient and provider perspectives (selected lighting talk). International Association of Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Virtual Conference.

Virtual Webcast.

Durban, R, Groetch, M, Meyer, R, Coleman Collins, S, Elverson, W, Friebert, A, Kabourek, J, Marchand, S M, McWilliam, V, Netting, M, Skypala, I, Van Brennan, T, Vassilopoulou, E, Vlieg-Boerstra, B, & Venter, C (2021). Dietary management of food allergy. Immunol Allergy Clin N Am, 41, 233-270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iac.2021.01.009