Evaluation of a piloted protected mealtime in a Canadian hospital

Jan Chan

Purpose: To explore the impact of a pilot protected mealtime program on the nourishment of older adult patients and patient mealtime experience and care.

Methods: Following stakeholder education, a pre- and post-mealtime observational audits and a staff questionnaire were administered to assess the effectiveness on the protected mealtime on a 35-bed acute, elder care ward. Descriptive statistics profiled the data. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to test significance.

Findings: The audit revealed a significant decrease in total number of interruptions (Z=-2.496,p=0.013,r= -0.42) and improved hand washing practices at mealtimes from 0% to 67%. Main sources of interruptions were from nursing for medical review, elective procedures and drug rounds, and housekeeping. Intake results were inconclusive.

Conclusion: The protected mealtime program appeared to improve patient mealtime experiences and patient care. When hospitalized patients have time to eat their meals they may be more adequately nourished. Successful implementation requires stakeholder support and education.

Chan, J., & Carpenter, C. (2015). An Evaluation of a Pilot Protected Mealtime Program in a Canadian Hospital. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 76(2), 81-85. doi: 10.3148/cjdpr-2014-035

Publication available at: http://dcjournal.ca/doi/abs/10.3148/cjdpr-2014-035