Purpose: Children with cerebral palsy who have associated feeding difficulties are at risk of aspiration and poor nutrition. This study aimed to measure the changes in knowledge, confidence, anxiety and behaviour among 25 Sri Lankan mothers with responsibility for feeding children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, after they attended an experiential workshop.
Method: Data collection was done through pre- and post-workshop questionnaires, observations and semi-structured interviews.
Results: There was a significant improvement in reported levels of knowledge and confidence and a decrease in the caregivers’ level of anxiety during mealtimes. The qualitative data analysis indicated changes in participant knowledge, particularly about the signs of aspiration and positioning during mealtimes. Observations showed better adherence to recommendations on communication, bolus size and utensils.
Conclusion: The findings support the utility of experiential training for caregivers, to ensure that children with cerebral palsy are fed safely.