Occupational Therapy's Role in Implementing Food-Related Activities for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities




Chege, Sasha

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Introduction: Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) tend to face deficits with cognitive and physical skills, therefore, reducing their abilities to complete food-related tasks (i.e. meal preparation, kitchen safety, grocery shopping) independently. Purpose: This doctoral capstone project aimed to explore the effectiveness of food-related group interventions which will be broken down into four main components: nutrition, grocery shopping, cooking skills, and kitchen safety to promote perceived independence and confidence within these four areas for adults with IDD. Methods: This study utilized a quantitative methods approach, with quantitative measures of food-related skills from the pre-test and post-test surveys. An 8-week program, titled “Food Beyond,” was implemented at Connecting Point of Park Cities (CPPC) in Dallas, Texas. The effectiveness of the group sessions was evaluated through pre- and post-surveys. These findings will contribute to the limited knowledge base on the effectiveness of group-based occupational therapy interventions in enhancing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) for adults with IDD. Results: In all four components, participants demonstrated a significant increase in perceived levels of satisfaction, confidence, and effectiveness. Conclusion: Adults with IDD may benefit from ongoing interventions that focus on grocery shopping, nutrition, kitchen safety, and basic cooking skills to overall improve independence and confidence within these areas.



Occupational therapy, Cooking skills, Nutrition, Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Autism spectrum disorder, Activities of daily living (ADLs), Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)