Taste dysfunction in children - a clinical perspective and review of assessment methods

Mirjam van den Brink*, Irene IJpma, Wim J E Tissing, Remco C Havermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Senses
Volume46
Early online date10 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • ADOLESCENTS
  • BITTER-TASTE
  • DISORDERS
  • FOOD PREFERENCES
  • GUSTATORY FUNCTION
  • OBESE
  • PERCEPTION
  • SENSITIVITY
  • SMELL
  • THRESHOLDS
  • children
  • psychophysical test
  • self-report
  • taste
  • taste dysfunction

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