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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mothers' experiences of an interdisciplinary team process for their child with a feeding disorder Stokes, Rochelle H.


Purpose: (1) to describe mothers’ experiences of an interdisciplinary feeding team process for their child with a feeding disorder; (2) to explore the perspectives of mothers as they implement recommendations from the feeding team. Methods: In this qualitative descriptive phenomenological study, nine mothers whose child had a complex feeding disorder and who recently went through an interdisciplinary feeding assessment participated in two semi-structured interviews. The first interview took place just after the feeding assessment, while the second was conducted a few months later. Colaizzi’s method of data analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings: Five themes emerged from the analysis. 'Taking Action' reflects the recognition and the action that was being taken by mothers to address their child’s feeding disorder. 'The Balancing Act' describes the range of experiences that mothers identified during the interdisciplinary assessment process. 'The Impact' reflects the mix of emotions that mothers experience at the conclusion of the feeding assessment, as well as the knowledge and insight gained regarding their child’s feeding. 'We Are On Our Own' represents the process of positive change that mothers go through as they implement recommendations from the team; and finally, 'We Can Now Move Forward' describes the restoration of balance in the lives of mothers as they adapt to the recommendations provided by the team. Knowledge gained from the feeding team facilitates mothers’ acceptance of their child’s feeding difficulties and helps them to look towards the future with renewed hope. The stressors that mothers’ experienced prior to the feeding assessment had an impact on their experience of the assessment. Mothers described uncertainties and anxieties prior to and during the feeding assessment. These stressors have the potential to be alleviated with increased communication with families. Implications: This study has highlighted the importance of using an interdisciplinary team to address paediatric feeding difficulties. In addition, the findings suggest that receiving knowledge helps to facilitate problem-focused coping in mothers. Understanding the broader impact of an interdisciplinary feeding team on decreasing caregiver stress is critical for further legitimizing the service and ensuring funding when the healthcare system is already strained.

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