Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, vol.44, no.1, pp.43-50, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons LtdCerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent sensorimotor impairments. Children with CP have various feeding difficulties including chewing disorder, which may affect their nutritional status. Functional Chewing Training (FuCT) was designed as a holistic approach to improve chewing function by providing postural alignment, sensory and motor training, and food and environmental adjustments. This study aimed to investigate the effect of FuCT on chewing function in children with CP. This study was designed as a double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Eighty CP children with chewing disorder were randomised and split between the FuCT group (31 males, 19 females; mean age 3·5 ± 1·9 years) and the control group (16 males, 14 females; 3·4 ± 2·3 years) receiving traditional oral motor exercises. Each group received the training programme for 12 weeks with weekly follow-up and with two evaluations at baseline and end of 12 weeks. Chewing function was evaluated by analysing video recordings and scored with the Karaduman Chewing Performance Scale (KCPS). The Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) was used to evaluate feeding behaviours of children. A significant improvement was observed in KCPS scores at 12 weeks after training in the FuCT group (P < 0·001), but no change was found in the control group (P = 0·07). A significant improvement was detected in all parameters of BPFAS at 12 weeks after training in the FuCT group (P < 0·001) and in four parameters of BPFAS in the control group (P = 0·02, P = 0·02). FuCT is an effective method to improve chewing function compared with traditional oral motor exercises.