A cross sectional survey in paediatricians pertaining to management of functional gastrointestinal disorders in infants: Indian perspectives

Shrish Bhatnagar, Roshan R. Mane, Irfan A. Shaikh, Ganesh Kadhe


Background: Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in infants and toddlers possess extensive burden to the parents and healthcare professionals. Guidelines addressing the practices in diagnosis and management of FGIDs in infants in Indian subcontinent is unavailable. Hence this study assessed current knowledge, attitude and practice of pediatricians in diagnosis and treatment of FGIDs.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey based on a structured questionnaire assessed pediatrician’s knowledge about prevalence and profile of most common GI disorders in pediatric age groups (birth to 12 months), association of FGIDs with different feeding practices, impact of FGID on quality of life, various management options and physician preferred method of treatment.

Results: Colic was rated as the most common GI disorder, followed by gassiness/fussiness, regurgitation and constipation. About 59% pediatricians come across FGIDs more in formula-fed infants compared to breastfed infants (4.2%) and 93.9% pediatricians affirm that FGIDs affect quality of life. Approximately 91% pediatricians believed reassurance and education was the best management option, which was also reported as the preferred mode of management by about 89% pediatricians, whereas pharmacological therapies were the least preferred (1.6%). For breastfed infants suffering with regurgitation, colic or constipation, majority pediatricians opted for switching to 100% whey partially hydrolysed protein formula; sequentially followed by use of pre/probiotics and switch to extensively hydrolyzed protein formula.

Conclusions: Parental education and reassurance offer an ideal mode of management of FGIDs. Partially hydrolysed protein formula may be considered one of the best management options irrespective of the FGID condition in infants who are breastfeed.


Breastfeed, Functional gastrointestinal disorders, Infants, Paediatricians, Partially hydrolysed protein formula, Quality of life

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