Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
I partnered with the feeding team at Bronson Methodist Hospital (BMH) including outpatient pediatric occupational therapy, gastroenterologists, and dietitians to implement an evidence-based tube-weaning guideline for tube-dependent infant and pediatric patients. There is limited research in the area of tube-weaning and therefore limited national standards and guidelines to support clinicians and families going through this process. Current options for feeding tube-weaning services for Kalamazoo residents include traveling to Helen DeVos’s Intensive Feeding Program in Grand Rapids which places a heavy emphasis on behavioral intervention. This does not support the autonomy of the child or support the holistic occupation of feeding. Net coaching programs are effective and evidence-based, but are not covered by insurance and may cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. My goal was to implement a feeding tube weaning guideline for Bronson’s feeding team, create clinician and family resources, and educate other disciplines about this evidence-based, multidisciplinary program with a focus on cue-based feeding and hunger induction. I created educational handouts for clinicians and families, advocated for the inclusion of occupational therapy in the tube weaning process and established which assessments and parameters would be used for future research to support clinical practice and patient care.
Friend, Piper, "Service Gap in Kalamazoo County: Establishing a Reimbursable, Child-Led Multidisciplinary Feeding Tube-Weaning Protocol" (2023). Capstone Projects. 9.