Development and evaluation of an implementation package to support Occupational Therapists to manage allergy and dysphagia risks during meal preparation.

Zaneta Mok1, Emily Waugh1, Rebekah Anderson1, Hanae Penberthy1, Georgia Feben1, Johanna Gregor1, Layal Hanna1, Zaneta Mok1, Suzannah Jackson1, Karen Roberts1

1Alfred Health,


Occupational Therapists provide interventions to increase participation and/or independence within meal preparation activities. Patients with allergies and dysphagia can have additional meal restrictions. Clear processes, and training for occupational therapists are required to ensure meal preparation is safe and appropriate for patients with allergy and dysphagia dietary requirements

Aim: This project aimed to develop and evaluate processes, resources and training to support occupational therapists to manage allergy and dysphagia risks.


This project followed a PDSA (Deming, 1993) framework, using pre and post implementation surveys to identify the barriers in allergy and dysphagia management and evaluate the confidence and knowledge of allergy and dysphagia management as reported by occupational therapists in a major Metropolitan Hospital. An Allied Health working party comprising Speech Pathologists, Dietitians, and Occupational Therapists was established to liaise with the Scope of Practice Committee, Food Services and the Legal Department to identify and implement changes required.


36 Occupational therapists and 5 AHA’s responded to the initial survey. Barriers to practice include reduced confidence on how to identify appropriate meals and prepare fluids and foods of modified consistencies and how to contact the Menu Monitors, Participants highlighted a strong interest in training. Following the PDSA cycle, the working party developed a targeted education program, process framework, and waiver form and clinician resources. The implementation and evaluation of this package will be presented.


A PDSA framework provided structure in developing education and resources to support occupational therapists to mitigate risks related to dysphagia and allergies.


‘Biographies to come

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