Brief Report  |   March 2018
Manual Feeding Device Experiences of People With a Neurodisability
Author Affiliations
  • Anne Mandy, PhD, MSc, BSc(Hons), is Associate Professor, Centre for Health Research, University of Brighton, Eastbourne Campus, Sussex, England; am86@brighton.ac.uk
  • Tara Sims, PhD, MSc, BA, is Senior Lecturer, School of Health Professions, University of Brighton, Eastbourne Campus, Sussex, England
  • Graham Stew, DPhil, MA(Ed), is Principal Lecturer, School of Health Professions, University of Brighton, Eastbourne Campus, Sussex, England
  • Dominic Onions, BSc(Hons), is Research Officer, Centre for Health Research, University of Brighton, Eastbourne Campus, Sussex, England
Article Information
Assistive Technology / Ethics / Neurologic Conditions / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Columns: Brief Report
Brief Report   |   March 2018
Manual Feeding Device Experiences of People With a Neurodisability
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2018, Vol. 72, 7203345010p1-7203345010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.025353
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2018, Vol. 72, 7203345010p1-7203345010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.025353
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Neurological bilateral upper limb weakness can result in self-feeding difficulties and reliance on care providers. Mealtimes become time consuming and frustrating. In this exploratory inquiry, we examined the experiences of users of a feeding device.

METHOD. Semistructured interviews were either conducted by telephone or administered via email to explore quality of life, changes to independence, benefits and limitations, and psychological impact of the equipment.

RESULTS. Thematic analysis gave rise to five themes: independence and positivity, emotions, impact on family and social life, equipment functionality, and motivation.

CONCLUSION. This exploratory inquiry has contributed new qualitative evidence to the knowledge and understanding of users’ experiences of a manual feeding device. Users reported that the need for assistance was reduced and that their quality of life, independence, and freedom improved. Time and resources savings for the family, care providers, and staff appeared to result in a more equal relationship between user and care provider.