Powered feeding devices: An evaluation of three models

  • Richard P. Hermann
    Reprint requests to Richard P. Hermann, MD, Department of Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2924 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23220-1298.
    A. I. duPont Hospital for Children/University of Delaware Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories USA
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  • Anna C. Phalangas
    A. I. duPont Hospital for Children/University of Delaware Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories USA
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  • Richard M. Mahoney
    A. I. duPont Hospital for Children/University of Delaware Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories USA
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  • Micheala. Alexander
    A. I. duPont Hospital for Children/University of Delaware Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Dr. Hermann is currently affiliated with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Children's Hospital and Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA.
    2 Dr. Mahoney is currently affiliated with Rehabilitation Technologies Division, Applied Resources Corporation, Westmont, NJ.
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      Objective: To evaluate and compare three powered feeding devices (Beeson, Handy 1, Winsford) as perceived by disabled individuals who require assistance with eating.
      Design: Subjects and assistants were surveyed after using each device and serving their own controls. The order in which the devices were used was balanced.
      Setting: Place of subjects' residence.
      Subjects: Twelve subjects, ages 11 to 42 years, and their feeding assistants.
      Intervention: Each device trial covered a 4-day period. Day 1 focused on training to use the device, Days 2 and 3 focused on using the device at home, and on Day 4 subjects returned to the laboratory for debriefing, completing questionnaires, and videotaping.
      Main Outcome Measure: Subjects and assistants answered questionnaires including Likert-like rankings and yes/no responses regarding functional and esthetic characteristics of each feeding device.
      Results: Significant differences were found among three powered feeding devices regarding specific design characteristic. Great percentages of both subjects and their feeding assistants responded that the devices were an improvement over how they were currently being fed and that they would use such a device on a daily basis.
      Conclusion: Individuals dependent on others for feeding may benefit from the use of a powered feeding device.
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