Restriction of the Family-Centered Care by COVID-19: A Supportive Educational Program for Fathers to Improve the Eating Behavior of Hospitalized Pediatrics
Background: Poor oral nutrition is one of the important outcomes of hospitalization in children with respiratory disease, which may lead to insufficient energy intake. Deterioration of nutritional status during hospitalization affects clinical outcomes seriously. This study aimed to investigate the effect of an educational-supportive program for fathers on the eating behavior of hospitalized pediatrics with pneumonia in the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: In this clinical trial, 40 children aged 12 to 36 months with pneumonia were selected together with their parents, after which they were randomly assigned to control and intervention groups. The intervention group received an educational supportive program face-to-face and virtually. Then, the father established an online video communication with the child and his mother as the main caregiver, while the control group received routine care. The data collection tools included the demographic questionnaire and the children's eating behavior questionnaire (CEBQ) completed by the mother during admission and 7 days later. Results: The results of the study showed no significant differences between any of the demographic variables of the study (P > 0.05). The mean eating behavior of the two groups before the intervention was 104.25 ± 6.20 and 105 ± 6.20, which were not significantly different (P = 0.70). However, the values of 113.2 ± 6.20 and 96.40 ± 6.20 were obtained after the intervention, indicating statistically significant differences (P <0.001). Conclusions: Planning and maintaining family integrity and educating and reminding parents of their role, including the fathers’ supportive role, can lead to the improvement of a child's eating disorder during hospitalization for pneumonia.