Objectives: The aim of the study was to describe the relation between sensory issues and medical complexity in a series of patients presenting to an outpatient multidisciplinary feeding team for evaluation, by a standardized measure of sensory-processing abilities.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of all of the patients seen from 2004 to 2009 on 2 key variables: medical diagnostic category and short sensory profile (SSP) score.
Results: On the SSP, 67.6% of children scored in the clinical (“definite difference”) range. The most common diagnostic categories were developmental (n = 23), gastrointestinal (n = 16), and neurological (n = 13). Behavioral and cardiorespiratory medical diagnostic categories were significantly related to SSP total score and SSP definite difference score.
Conclusions: Children who present for feeding evaluation do indeed tend to have clinically elevated scores regarding sensory processing, and these elevated scores are significantly related to certain medical diagnostic categories. Future research is needed to determine why these significant relations exist as well as their implications for treatment of feeding-related issues.