Congratulations to Francis Hill Fox Distinguished Term Professor Sue Thoyre, PhD, RN, FAAN, who has been awarded $2.66 million in research grant funding from the National Institute for Nursing Research to identify early symptoms of problematic feeding in infants that can progress to chronic feeding disorder.

After leaving neonatal intensive care, some preterm and full-term infants have a higher risk for compromised growth and development. An estimated 40–70% of these infants will have problematic feeding during the first 24 months, and this problematic feeding may escalate into a chronic feeding disorder, making early symptom identification critical.

In order to identify these symptoms early in a child’s development, Thoyre and her team have developed a set problematic feeding symptom measures, which will be used in the study to follow and track the progress of 285 infants at risk for feeding problems for 2 years, beginning with their discharge from neonatal intensive care.

By improving understanding of early symptoms of problematic feeding during the period when feeding disorders are emerging, and through better understanding of the family dynamic related to feeding problem development, Thoyre and her team can determine common behaviors associated with children’s development of chronic feeding disorders, which will lay the groundwork for the development of interventions and solutions in future research.

The five-year study will run through June 30, 2024, and will include the team members listed below.

Co-Investigators

Kathleen Knafl | UNC School of Nursing
Jamie Crandell | UNC School of Nursing
Diane Berry | UNC School of Nursing
Britt Pados | Boston College, School of Nursing *
Jinhee Park – Boston College, School of Nursing*
Hayley Estrem – UNC Wilmington, School of Nursing*

Consultants
Heather Carter –  Cone Health
Stephanie Wolfe – Cone Health
John Wimmer –  Cone Health
Pamela Dodrill – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Well done, Dr. Thoyre!

National Institue for Nursing Research, Award Number 1R01NR018192-01A1, Thoyre (PI) 9/25/19-6/30/24, Funding: $2,660,648, “Symptom Trajectories in Infants and Toddlers at Risk for Chronic Feeding Problems

*UNC School of Nursing PhD graduates

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