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Evid Based Nurs 12:30 doi:10.1136/ebn.12.1.30
  • Qualitative

Prioritising mealtime care, patient choice, and nutritional assessment were important for older inpatients’ mealtime experiences

A Dickinson

Dr A Dickinson, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK; a.m.dickinson@herts.ac.uk

QUESTION

What is the experience of mealtimes for older inpatients?

DESIGN

Action research study using a qualitative, interpretative, inductive approach to explore the mealtime environment before (phase 1) and after (phase 3) facilitation of changes in staff practice (phase 2).

SETTING

25-bed ward in the UK.

PARTICIPANTS

Purposive sample of older patients (6 in phase 1, 4 in phase 3) who had stabilised after an acute admission and needed complex nursing and medical care, and ward staff (19 in phase 1, 15 in phase 3), including healthcare assistants, nutrition assistants, qualified nursing staff, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.

METHODS

In phases 1 and 3, 6 mealtimes were observed (including breakfast, lunch, and supper), 3 focus groups were conducted with ward staff, and patients participated in semistructured interviews with staff nurses. Focus groups and interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically. Data from phase 1 informed the focus of phase 2.

MAIN FINDINGS

3 themes affected patients’ experiences …

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