The Weight of Complexity

Overview Resources

Project Overview

Our team recognizes the difficulties in ensuring children with medical complexities (CMC) receive adequate nutrition and the role malnutrition plays in their health complications. We have seen a significant increase in the number of patients diagnosed with malnutrition including more requiring admission for symptoms of failure to thrive. Failure to Thrive is a term that encompasses a condition in which patients exhibit inadequate growth and development, characterized by height and weight measurements falling below the 10th percentile, declines in growth across two significant growth percentiles, or decreases in weight gain velocity, regardless of the underlying cause. It is often replaced with the newer terms “growth faltering, weight faltering, or poor weight gain” and occurs in up to 10% of children in outpatient settings and approximately 5% of hospitalized. Due to their diversity of feeding difficulties and individual caloric needs, children with special healthcare needs, chronic complex conditions, or medical complexities comprise a majority of these percentages. It is a multifaceted concern that affects the overall health and well-being of these vulnerable children and poses a substantial challenge for both patients and caregivers, often requiring complex medical interventions such as feeding tubes for nutritional support. Addressing FTT demands a comprehensive and coordinated approach to healthcare, but traditional in-person care for follow-up visits may not always suffice. With that in mind, the study aims to explore the potential benefits of educating patients and caregivers about proper nutrition and leveraging technology to connect them to healthcare resources and monitoring via RPM. We hope to identify factors contributing to failure to thrive in children with medical complexity, as well as improve our understanding of the prevalence, causes, and barriers to treatment. The primary objective is to assess whether this innovative approach is effective in leading to improved health outcomes when compared to traditional in-person care.


  • The University of Mississippi Medical Center


  • Joy Johnson


  • Active


Project Resources

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