Using content and interpretative phenomenological analysis, we explored the meaning of food and eating from the perspective of adults receiving home parenteral nutrition (PN). The aim of this research was to obtain a deeper understanding of how issues related to food and eating influence quality of life (QOL). Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted between May 2006 and January 2007 with 24 adults with intestinal failure and home PN dependency. The analysis revealed themes relevant to eating behaviors, hunger and thirst, strategies for dining in restaurants, and a perception of wasting money because of malabsorbed food. Three patterns of eating emerged: eating for survival, eating for health benefits, and eating for socialization. A proposed model illustrates how these eating patterns are linked to QOL. Being able to eat and enjoy food is an important ingredient for good self-reported QOL. Measurements of QOL for this population may be enhanced with inclusion of a food and eating domain. The social and emotional context of food and mealtimes is an important component to address in the nutrition care plan for PN-dependent adults.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics