Infant Reflux Severely Impacts Quality of Life

Published: 3 May 2017

In June 2016, the Reflux Infants Support Association surveyed more than 500 parents about their experience caring for an infant with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) in the first twelve months of life. The results were concerning:

  • 1 in 2 parents rated the impact of having a child with GORD on their quality of life as 9 or 10 out of 10
  • More than 1 in 4 parents (29%) had a diagnosis of post-natal depression or anxiety (prevalence is 1 in 10 in the general population)
  • 1 in 5 parents reported that they no longer wish to have more children after having a baby with GORD
  • 1 in 3 parents reported their baby had a dual diagnosis of GORD and cow’s milk protein allergy or multiple food protein intolerances
  • 3 in 4 parents slept their baby upright
  • 1 in 4 parents visited a hospital Emergency Department two or more times for their child’s condition
  • 1 in 4 parents reported out of pocket health care expenses of more than $2000
  • More than 1 in 3 parents (40%) reported that the health professionals caring for their child did not adequately support them nor did they have a good understanding of GORD and its complications
  • More than 1 in 2 parents (60%) reported seeking alternative or supplementary therapies to treat the child’s symptoms

This is the first study of its kind in Australia. Further research is needed into GORD in babies to develop more sensitive guidelines that assist health practitioners to effectively diagnose, treat and manage the condition and its complications. Deeper understanding of the psychosocial impact of caring for a child with GORD on parents is required so that they can be linked into appropriate support services. We hope this study paves the way for greater investment into GORD in babies to improve health outcomes and the experience of health care in Australia.

Read the full report: RISA Report-Final-March2017

Infant Reflux Report Press Release May 2017

Infant Reflux Report Infographic final

RISA Survey

Summary Survey Results