Research Article
Issue Date: March 12, 2019
Published Online: March 12, 2019
Updated: March 13, 2019
Adapted Feeding Utensils for People With Parkinson’s-Related or Essential Tremor
Author Affiliations
  • Joyce Sabari, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor Emeritus, Occupational Therapy Program, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, Brooklyn; joyce.sabari@downstate.edu
  • Dimitre G. Stefanov, PhD, is Biostatistician, Scientific Computing Center, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, Brooklyn.
  • Judy Chan, MS, OTR, was Graduate Student, Occupational Therapy Program, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, Brooklyn, at the time of the study.
  • Lorraine Goed, MS, OTR, was Graduate Student, Occupational Therapy Program, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, Brooklyn, at the time of the study.
  • Joyce Starr, MS, OTR, was Graduate Student, Occupational Therapy Program, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, Brooklyn, at the time of the study.
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Parkinson's Disease / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 12, 2019
Adapted Feeding Utensils for People With Parkinson’s-Related or Essential Tremor
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 03 2019, Vol. 73, 7302205120. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.030759
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 03 2019, Vol. 73, 7302205120. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.030759
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of four adapted feeding utensils with participants with essential tremor (ET) or tremor related to Parkinson’s disease (PD).

METHOD. Participants performed a simulated feeding task under five conditions: (1) standard spoon (control condition), (2) weighted spoon with standard handle, (3) weighted spoon with built-up handle, (4) swivel spoon, and (5) Liftware Steady™ spoon, a product using active tremor cancellation technology. Participants rated each adapted utensil in comparison with the standard spoon regarding performance, ease of use, speed, neatness, and aesthetics.

RESULTS. Participants preferred the Liftware Steady spoon and weighted spoon with standard handle. Friedman’s test did not reveal statistically significant differences in ratings between the two preferred utensils.

CONCLUSION. Participants had varied reactions to the different adaptive utensils and gave different reasons for preferences. These findings support the need for people with tremor related to ET or PD to have access to trial use of all four devices assessed in this study.