Dr. Vishal Avinashi
Rochelle Stokes, Ali Boyle
This project evaluated the “Steps to Feeding” program, a program which aims to increase oral intake with complex medicalized patients who previously needed tube feeds (either NG feeds or G-tube feeds). This is a hunger based outpatient program involving our complex feeding and nutrition services which includes occupational therapists, social workers, registered dieticians, and medical staff. The program is novel in many ways in that current services to address this issue next to none, and although the tube can sustain a patient their uncomfortable dependence on it does not challenge them to improve. This program focuses on outpatients, which makes sure they are medically stable, are likely able to safely swallow, and show promise for decreasing tube dependency.
This project was generally effective in the sense that while not all patients stop eating, the number and texture of foods they have significantly improved in short term follow up. There was some short term weight loss, but nothing detrimental to the patient and no significant adverse events.