ABSTRACT

The feeding counsellor is a relatively unique role in the Netherlands and links important aspects of psychology, dietetics and paediatrics through a long-term practical experience of feeding problems within a multi-disciplinary setting. She plays an important part in the initial assessment, exploring dietetic, behavioural and paediatric issues, all of which provide important information about the feeding problem. The specific role of the feeding counsellor is to integrate information from the assessment to facilitate a formulation of the feeding problem and then to co-ordinate and implement the multi-disciplinary intervention. The intervention is based on an intensive coaching system, which is implemented and co-ordinated by the feeding counsellor, who offers the parents remote access via telephone or email at fixed times. Thus, the feeding counsellor acts as an interface between the parents and the multi-disciplinary team, enabling progress to be monitored on a continuous basis. This can be invaluable when such things as new tastes are being introduced or oral feeding is initiated. Such a system ensures prompt feedback and continuous data collection and monitoring whilst also providing a source of support for parents.