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Research Article  |   May 1993
Self-Feeding System for an Adult With Head Injury and Severe Ataxia
Author Affiliations
  • Hon Keung Yuen, MS, OTR/L, is Instructor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky 40475. At the time this article was written, he was an Occupational Therapist, New Medico Highwatch Rehabilitation Center, Center Ossipee, New Hampshire
Article Information
Musculoskeletal Impairments / Neurologic Conditions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Practice
Research Article   |   May 1993
Self-Feeding System for an Adult With Head Injury and Severe Ataxia
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 1993, Vol. 47, 444-451. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.5.444
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 1993, Vol. 47, 444-451. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.5.444
Abstract

This report describes a customized self-feeding system designed to increase the independence of a person with a head injury who is unable to use his arm for self-feeding. The client has spastic hemiparesis in the right upper extremity and profound ataxia in the left upper extremity. Due to the severity of these disabilities, the client required total assistance at every meal since his injury 6.5 years ago. The self-feeding system described consists of an adapted spoon, a spoon holder, a scoop dish, and a dish stand. The client scoops food from the scoop dish with the adapted spoon held in his mouth and then transfers the spoon to a magnetic holder for positioning. This adaptation allows the client to position the spoon with his chin without demanding fine motor coordination. The self-feeding system is evaluated with a BAB single case research withdrawal design. Results indicate that this self-feeding system provides a viable alternative to assisting independence in self-feeding as measured by the cost benefit ratio and nutrition intake. The client used the self-feeding system for 12 months at the rehabilitation center and has continued using the equipment at his nursing home.