Skip to main content

Eating and Drinking Classification System (EDACS)

Children with cerebral palsy have difficulties with movement and some have difficulty biting, chewing and swallowing.  Children who have these difficulties are likely to have problems with eating and drinking enough to stay healthy.

PenCRU were part of a team led by Diane Sellers at Chailey Heritage Clinical Services (Sussex Community NHS Trust) who developed and continue evaluating the Eating and Drinking Ability Classification System for children with cerebral palsy (EDACS). The initial work was funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme.

As part of this research we carried out a systematic review to establish that there was no adequate existing classification system.

We then conducted a series of studies testing of the reliability between classifications made by speech and language therapists, and also between therapists and parents.

Diane received funding from British Academy of Childhood Disability Paul Polani Award to examine retrospectively the stability of EDACS over time, and to explore associations between EDACS level and children's growth. 

For more information about this study, contact Diane Sellers.

Sellers D, Bryant E, Hunter A, Campbell V, Morris C. (2019) The Eating and Drinking Ability Classification System for cerebral palsy: a study of reliability and stability over time. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine doi:10.3233/PRM-180581.

Sellers, D., Mandy, A., Pennington, L., Hankins, M. and Morris, C. (2014), Development and reliability of a system to classify the eating and drinking ability of people with cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol, 56: 245–251. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12352

Sellers, D., Pennington, L., Mandy, A. and Morris, C. (2014), A systematic review of ordinal scales used to classify the eating and drinking abilities of individuals with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 56: 313–322. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12313

We have also produced plain language summaries for each paper.