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Taste Dysfunction in Children—A Clinical Perspective and Review of Assessment Methods

Authors
  • van den Brink, Mirjam1, 2
  • IJpma, Irene2
  • Tissing, Wim J E2, 3
  • Havermans, Remco C1
  • 1 Laboratory of Behavioural Gastronomy, Centre for Healthy Eating and Food Innovation, Maastricht University Campus Venlo, PO Box 8, 5900 AA, Venlo , (Netherlands)
  • 2 Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, PO Box 113, 3720 AC, Bilthoven , (Netherlands)
  • 3 Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Beatrix Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center, Groningen, University of Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen , (Netherlands)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Chemical Senses
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Aug 10, 2021
Volume
46
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjab035
PMID: 34374747
PMCID: PMC8412178
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • AcademicSubjects/SCI01180
License
Unknown

Abstract

Taste dysfunction has been associated with aging and is therefore thought to be less common in children. However, children can face medical conditions influencing their taste function. Measuring and understanding taste dysfunction in children may foster the development of treatments/interventions mitigating the detrimental effects of taste dysfunction on children’s appetite and quality of life. But measuring loss of taste function requires adequate tools. This review was conducted to 1) provide an overview of etiologies (i.e., disease and iatrogenic) associated with taste dysfunction in a pediatric population; 2) to investigate which tools (psychophysical tests and questionnaires) are available to assess taste function in children; and 3) to identify what tools can be and are actually used in clinical practice. It is concluded that only a minority of available tools to assess taste function in children are readily suitable for a pediatric clinical setting. Considering the profound impact of taste dysfunction in the pediatric setting, developing, and implementing a standard taste test that is sensitive, simple, and practical to use with children is pertinent.

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