A Multidisciplinary Approach to Infants With GERD-Like Symptoms: A New Paradigm

Mark H. Fishbein, Jessica Kronberg, Stephanie Alvarado, Diana Bohm, Patricia Ideran, Donna R. Scarborough*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Infants with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-like symptoms have been classically defined as having a wide array of symptoms. In these instances, anti-reflux medications are ineffective and overprescribed. Rather these symptoms are more attributable to dysphagia and unsettledness/colic. To address these conditions at our center, both speech language pathologist (SLP) and/or occupational therapist (OT) have contributed to evaluation. We hypothesized that dysphagia and unsettledness/colic are highly prevalent, yet under recognized in this population. Methods: Full-term infants with typical development and under 6 months of age (N = 174) were included. Infants with suspected dysphagia and/or evident colic/unsettledness were evaluated by SLP and OT, respectively. Results: GERD-like symptoms were present in 109 infants with attributes of dysphagia in n = 46, unsettledness/colic in n = 37, and combined in n = 26. Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach, including SLP and OT, is recommended for the evaluation of infants with GERD-like symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • GERD
  • infants
  • occupational therapy
  • reflux
  • speech-language pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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