The paediatric HIV/AIDS population is expanding and speech-language therapists are required to treat these individuals in a range of settings for various complications, including oral-motor difficulties. Increased research and knowledge is essential in the treatment of these young children as this may result in improved service provision and facilitation of successful feeding by the speech-language therapist and caregivers in various settings. The nutritional management, - including diagnosis and management of swallowing disorders - of a young child with paediatric HIV/AIDS is of primary importance as malnutrition predisposes affected children to further opportunistic infections and malabsorption of nutrients. The main aim of this study was to describe the feeding behaviour of twelve 6 – 36 month-old children with paediatric HIV/AIDS in care centres in Gauteng. The participants were selected from two care centres that cater for children with HIV/AIDS. An exploratory descriptive research design was selected, where observation and assessment were employed to describe the feeding of these young children. The results of the study indicated that the participants presented with functional feeding skills, with a few individuals presenting with various feeding problems. The results also indicated that the children appear to be functioning well in the care centre environment. In addition, the feeding behaviour of the children was highly individual. Therefore, a number of disciplines should be involved in the intervention in the paediatric HIV/AIDS population, including the speech language therapist in order to provide optimal feeding intervention.
Dissertation (MComm Path)--University of Pretoria, 2005.