Following a review of 100 infants fed by nasogastric tubes, medical factors associated with the length of transition to complete oral feeding were identified through correlational and multiple regression analyses. Six of the 100 infants had an extremely lengthy transition or never progressed to oral feeding; the remaining 94 infants progressed to oral feeding within 2 to 58 days. The total number of medical complications correlated significantly and positively with the length of transition. Digestive, respiratory, and cardiac complications were all significant predictors of the length of transition to oral feeding. The results of this study may assist occupational therapists in earlier identification of and intervention for infants fed by nasogastric tubes who are at risk for later oral feeding problems and a longer transition from nasogastric tube to oral feeding.

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