UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study to develop an instrument to assist nurses to assess the abilities of patients with chronic conditions to feed themselves Phillips, Frances Patricia


Construction of a tool to assist nurses to assess the abilities of patients, with chronic conditions, to feed themselves was based upon twenty-one identified feeding behaviors derived from observations of a random sample of fifty such patients from two urban hospitals. Observations were also made of the nurses who cared for these patients. Identifying specific behavior items was concurrent with defining five categories along the dependence-independence continuum during analysis of the data. A 3:1:1 ratio for weighting behavioral components was established arbitrarily. The Kenny Self-care five point numerical rating scale was adapted to provide a method of determining the amount of help a patient would require to feed himself. Experts in the field agreed, with minor modifications, that the tool could determine a measure of independent feeding. A reliability test, using eight pairs of registered nurses to assess thirty-two patients produced a reliability coefficient of .849; evidence that this tool is dependable and consistent in measuring the relative state of feeding dependence-independence of patients with chronic conditions. Rating behaviors provides written evidence of the degree to which the patient is able to feed himself. The difference between what a patient can do and the criteria for independent feeding provides a measure of the help a patient will require to feed himself. Further research is indicated in the areas of usefulness of the tool for registered nurses, identifying psychosocial behaviors more precisely, testing the tool in different feeding situations and expansion of the tool to include the other activities of daily living.

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