The study evaluated the impact of a pilot “protected mealtime” program on meal experience and care of hospitalized acute care patients. A 4-month pilot protected mealtime program was implemented on a 35-bed acute, older adult ward. A pre- and post-observational audit was implemented to examine interruptions during lunch, food intake, hand hygiene, and positioning practices on the ward. A staff questionnaire was administered to gain the opinions of health care team members about the protected mealtime program. The observational audit showed a significant decrease in the number of total interruptions (Z = −2.496, P = 0.013, r = −0.42). Hand hygiene practices improved and no effect was found on mealtime patient positioning at mealtimes. Staff questionnaire responses indicated positive changes to the patients’ mealtime experiences. The protected mealtime program appeared to improve patient mealtime experiences and patient care. Enabling patients to eat their meals uninterrupted will assist in ensuring that patients in hospital are adequately nourished.
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Feb 2015|