Feeding practices and eating behaviours in Down syndrome: Perspectives from healthcare professionals

Principle investigator
Dr Samantha Rogers & Dr Silvana Mengoni

Have you been granted ethics approval?

Dr Samantha Rogers

Job title
Research Fellow

University of Hertfordshire


Infants and young children with Down syndrome often experience feeding problems, but there is limited research on the consequences of these issues and the support needs of parents. Ongoing work by the researchers suggests that parents have an unmet need for support from healthcare professionals regarding issues with feeding. Preliminary analyses indicate that parents’ expectations of feeding do not correspond to their subsequent experiences, and they engage in help-seeking behaviours, e.g. seeking support from health visitors, midwives and speech and language therapists on breastfeeding and introduction of solids.

We will conduct interviews with ~20 health professionals, including health visitors, midwives and speech and language therapists who have previously worked with children with Down syndrome. These semi-structured 1:1 interviews will explore how services are set up for this population, what advice/support is currently offered, if there are any gaps in current provision, and what additional training and support might be useful/welcomed (if any).

Current progress – including recruitment and planned finish dates.
We have secured ethical approval, sponsorship, and HRA approval. Recruitment will begin imminently. Interviews will be completed by early 2019.