Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Room 108
  • January 25, 2017 from 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Speakers: Peter Allatt, Clinical Ethicist, Sinai Health System, Bridgepoint; Joyce Lai, Medical Student, University of Toronto; Phoebe Smith-Chen, SLP and Patient Relations Consultant, Michael Garron Hospital; Ben Walmsley, Medical Student, Queens University; Tasneem Wallani, SLP, Sinai Health System, Bridgepoint

Patients with dysphagia are living longer. Despite swallowing difficulties, some request oral intake. “Quality of life feeds” (QoLF) give a patient with dysphagia small amounts of food/drink for pleasure, taste sensation, oral sensation (mastication), companionship, or a sense of normalcy but are not intended for nutritional needs or caloric intake. Patients with dysphagia who receive QoLF are at increased risk of aspiration and choking, causing moral distress for providers. Little research exists in this area. How do providers view QoLF? When ethical issues arise, how do they handle them? To explore, we conducted a mixed-methods pilot study using semi-structured focus groups or 1:1 interviews followed by a survey with five case vignettes. Research participants were health care providers (HCPs) within a healthcare institution whose experiences of QoLF differed widely. Our analysis revealed prominent themes in regards to HCP’s perspectives on QoLF, such as concern in relation to risk, perceived incongruences with goals of care and patient decision-making capacity. Findings suggest future avenues of research and considerations for care in settings with QoLF.

This seminar is free and open to the public. No registration required.