Failure to thrive (FTT) is a pervasive childhood syndrome characterized by failure to gain weight or reach developmental milestones. It affects approximately 5 % of infants and children in the United States. The etiology of FTT can be divided into medical, psychosocial and environmental factors. Nursing diagnosis is the nurse’s clinical judgment based on evidence-based assessment.
In establishing a care plan, a comprehensive assessment is essential. Such an assessment should include parameters related to biological, social, and spiritual development as well as family history and dynamics. Observations, such as physical activity, if any, and sleep patterns, interaction with parents/caregivers, and symptomatology should also be considered.
By conducting a thorough assessment, nurses can make an informed nursing diagnosis. Such diagnoses may include: Imbalanced nutrition: Less than body requirements; Risk for delayed growth & development; Parent/Caregiver role strain; Ineffective coping.
- Nutrition: The child will have improved nutrition over a given period of time
- Growth and Development: The child will demonstrate progressive signs of growth and development over a given period of time
- Parent/Caregiver Role Stress: The parent/caregiver will demonstrate improved coping skills and stress management techniques over a given period of time
- Coping Skills:The child will demonstrate improved coping techniques when faced with stressful situations
- Assess the child for signs and symptoms of FTT.
- Encourage parents/caregivers to provide a supportive, loving environment for the child.
- Instruct the parent/caregiver on appropriate feeding techniques for the child.
- Provide follow-up and support as needed.
- Monitor progress of the child accordingly.
It is important to assess the child for signs and symptoms of FTT in order to determine the underlying etiology. Encouraging a supportive, nurturing environment has been shown to promote growth and development. Additionally, educating the parent/caregiver on appropriate feeding techniques will ensure the child receives an adequate amount of nutrition.
The success of the care plan is determined by evaluating the child on a regular basis with respect to the outcomes that have been established. If interventions are deemed successful, the need for nursing involvement should be considered.
Failure to thrive is a pervasive childhood syndrome that can greatly impact the health and wellbeing of an infant or child. By conducting a thorough assessment, nurses can create an effective care plan. With proper interventions, it is possible to improve nutrition, growth and development, and overall quality of life.
- What causes Failure to Thrive? Failure to thrive can be caused by medical, psychosocial, or environmental factors.
- What are the signs and symptoms of FTT? Signs and symptoms of FTT can vary and may include slow weight gain, lack of energy, poor eating habits, and difficulty sleeping.
- What is a nursing care plan for FTT? A nursing care plan for FTT can include assessments, diagnoses, interventions, outcomes, and evaluations.
- How can FTT be treated? FTT can be treated with a variety of interventions, including providing nutrition education and support to the parent/caregiver, offering consistent follow-up, and monitoring the child’s progress.
- Can FTT be reversed? With proper interventions, growth can be possible and improvement in nutrition, development and overall quality of life is possible.