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Systematic review
The perspectives of patients and their families remain largely unheard in mealtime assistance research
  1. Judi Porter1,2
  1. 1 Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Allied Health Clinical Research Office, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Judi Porter, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria 3168, Australia; Judi.Porter{at}

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Commentary on: Edwards D, Carrier J, Hopkinson J. Assistance at mealtimes in hospital settings and rehabilitation units for patients (65 years) from the perspectives of patients, families and healthcare professionals: A mixed methods systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud 2017; 69:100–118.

Implications for practice and research

  • Where practice aims to increase nutritional intake of hospitalised older patients, evidence exists to support implementation of some interventions included in this review (eg, mealtime assistance programmes), but not all (eg, Protected Mealtimes).

  • The perspective of the patient and their family has been underutilised in mealtime assistance research. Future studies investigating mealtime interventions should consider the inclusion of the patients’ voice through qualitative approaches and/or quality of life measures.


Malnutrition in healthcare settings is a complex and multifactorial problem arising from multiple causes including poor appetite, inadequate nutritional intake and the primary diagnosis itself. Identification of patients at risk of malnutrition through nutritional screening …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.