Quality statement 1: Information about gastro‑oesophageal reflux (GOR) in infants

Quality statement

Parents and carers attending postnatal appointments are given information about gastro‑oesophageal reflux (GOR) in infants.

Rationale

Regurgitation of feeds in infants can cause anxiety for parents and carers. Providing information about GOR can reassure parents and carers that, in well infants, effortless regurgitation of feeds is a common and normal occurrence that affects at least 40% of infants and is likely to resolve before the infant is 1.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that parents and carers attending postnatal appointments are given information about GOR in infants.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of infants aged 8 weeks and under whose parents or carers received information about GOR during 1 of the postnatal appointments.

Numerator – the number in the denominator whose parents received information about GOR during 1 of the postnatal appointments.

Denominator – the number of infants aged 8 weeks and under who had at least 1 postnatal appointment.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Parental anxiety around infant GOR.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) GP visits regarding GOR.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (community care trusts, secondary care trusts, specialised women's/maternity providers) ensure that postnatal appointments include providing information about GOR in infants.

Healthcare professionals (health visitors, midwives, paediatric nurses or GPs) give information to parents and carers attending postnatal appointments about GOR in infants.

Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups, local authorities) ensure that postnatal appointments are commissioned to provide information about GOR in infants.

Parents and carers attending postnatal appointments receive information about reflux (regurgitating, bringing up or vomiting feeds) in babies.

Source guidance

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in children and young people (2015) NICE guideline NG1, recommendation 1.1.3 (key priority for implementation) and 1.1.4

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR)

GOR is the passage of gastric contents into the oesophagus. It is a common physiological event that can happen at all ages from infancy to old age, and is often asymptomatic. It occurs more frequently after feeds/meals. In many infants, reflux is associated with a tendency to 'overt regurgitation' – the visible regurgitation of feeds.

[Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in children and young people (2015) NICE guideline NG1]

Information for people attending postnatal appointments

Information should explain that in well infants, effortless regurgitation of feeds:

  • is very common (it affects at least 40% of infants)

  • usually begins before the infant is 8 weeks old

  • may be frequent (5% of infants affected have 6 or more episodes each day)

  • usually becomes less frequent with time (it resolves in 90% of affected infants before they are 1 year old)

  • does not usually need further investigation or treatment.

[Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in children and young people (2015) NICE guideline NG1, recommendation 1.1.3 (key priority for implementation) and 1.1.4]

Equality and diversity considerations

This statement relies on parents and carers understanding the information given to them. Healthcare professionals may need to provide support for people who have difficulties understanding the information.