Graz Model of Tube Weaning: Interprofessional Practice in Telehealth

April 30, 2021 1:30 pm

The “Graz model of tube weaning” attempts to bridge this gap, employing an interdisciplinary approach and treating the whole family unit as part of the transition process. The team is comprised of pediatricians, psychologists, and feeding therapists. Components of each discipline are integrated into the two main principles of the “Graz model of tube weaning:” 1. Enable the child to feel hunger 2. Enable the child’s sense of autonomy and encourage self-directed oral intake (Marinschek et al. 2020). Allowing the child to experience sensations related to appetite is an important step of the process and is always carefully supervised by the pediatrician in combination with the psychologist and feeding therapist.

This workshop highlights the interprofessional Graz Model of Tube Weaning and its impact on the process of transitioning children off feeding tubes using an autonomy-based approach in the context of telehealth services. It will also explore interprofessional roles and communication on a feeding team and elements to consider when helping clients explore tube-weaning programs.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify strategies for interprofessional practice within the Graz Model of Tube Weaning
  • Apply components of the Graz Model of Tube Weaning to telehealth practice
  • Conceptualize barriers and facilitators to implementation of interprofessional practice in tube weaning via telehealth


  • Marion Russell, OTD, MOTR/L, SCFES

    Dr. Russell is an assistant professor in the Occupational Therapy program at Creighton University and director of the Post-Professional Occupational Doctorate Program. She has taught evidence-based practice courses, practice and capstone in the Entry and PostProfessional Doctor of Occupational Therapy Programs, and mentors several student research projects. Prior to her position, she has taught pediatrics and theory courses at her alma mater, the University of Southern Maine, where she earned her Master of Occupational Therapy after finishing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She is originally from Berlin, Germany and have experience working in private practice and clinical settings in the United States, Germany, and Austria.

    Since 2016, she been a member of a specialized feeding and eating therapy team at the NoTube Interdisciplinary Therapy Center in Graz, Austria. Prior to that, she worked with medically fragile children at a special purpose private school in Scarborough, Maine. She is an American Occupational Therapy Association certified Eating, Feeding and Swallowing Therapist and continue to specialize in enteral tube weaning and telemedical services. In addition, she has successfully presented the telehealth model to health care teams in both the Netherlands and the US. Through these experiences, she has developed a unique expertise in provision of services via the telehealth model to a broad spectrum of  populations. She is currently coinvestigator on a project funded by the Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Faculty Research Fund/Creighton University to develop a telehealth teaching module, introducing telehealth service delivery in occupational therapy curriculum.

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  • Sabine Marinschek, MSc

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