Manual Feeding Device Experiences of People With a Neurodisability

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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.

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