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Feasibility and Efficacy of Assessing Child Preference for Feeding Treatment Using Choice Assessment

Principal Investigator(s):

Laura Phipps, Ph.D.

Grant Type:

Applied Research

Funding:

38,089


Organization:

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute

Year Awarded:

2023

Status:

In Progress


Topics:

Behavior, Emotions, Mental Health; Health and Sensory Issues


Abstract

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are reported to be five times more likely to experience feeding difficulties than children without ASD (Sharp et al., 2013). Treatment approaches used to support children with feeding difficulties include responsive feeding and behavioral intervention. To date, there is no research on responsive feeding as a treatment for autistic children. This is problematic because responsive feeding is recommended by some feeding specialists (Cohen & Dilfer, 2022), and behavioral intervention is the only approach supported by evidence-based research (Dumont et al., 2023). More importantly, autistic children with PFD are unlikely to have a say in which treatment approach they get to experience. The purpose of the current study is to 1) compare the efficacy of responsive and behavioral treatment for children with ASD and feeding difficulties, 2) conduct a concurrent chains preference assessment to determine child preference for a treatment approach, and 3) compare child and caregiver preferences for treatment approaches. Our results offer practical findings by determining if there are differences between the two approaches in treatment effects and acceptability, and if a concurrent chains preference assessment is a viable means of distinguishing a child’s preference within this context. This knowledge will allow clinicians to incorporate consumer autonomy into feeding treatment selection without sacrificing treatment effectiveness.