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Evaluation of a pilot volunteer feeding assistance program: influences on the dietary intakes of elderly hospitalised patients and lessons learnt

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Objectives

    Malnutrition is a serious concern in hospitals and is known to be associated with increased complications for patients, increased hospital costs and length of stay. Trained volunteers that assist ‘at risk’ and malnourished patients at lunch meals have been shown to effectively increase nutritional intake in a suburban hospital in Sydney. The pilot study reported here aimed to evaluate and share learnings from a similar, newly implemented program, comparing energy and macronutrient intakes on days with no volunteer assistance, to days with volunteers.

    Design

    Dietary intakes were determined by visual estimation of meal trays before and after meals, for two days without volunteers, and two days with volunteer assistance at lunch. Macronutrient and energy intakes were compared and data such as weight, height, diet type and medical history were obtained from medical records. Questionnaires were completed by nurses and volunteers in regards to their views and experiences with the program.

    Setting

    Hospital based.

    Results

    Eight patients (83±4.5 years) participated in the study. When volunteers were present at lunch, the average macronutrient and energy intakes increased, though not statistically significantly. The mean increases were 316kJ (p=0.175) for energy, 3.1g (p=0.468) for protein, 1.4g (p=0.418) for fat and 11.6g (p=0.084) for carbohydrates. Non-significant increases in macronutrients were also noted for the average daily intakes.

    Conclusion

    Although not statistically significant, energy and macronutrient intakes increased when volunteers were present. The implementation of a volunteer feeding assistance program is one strategy to assist dietary intakes but requires a ready team of volunteers, training, acceptance and significant time to develop.

Authors


  •   Huang, Chi-Sheng (external author)
  •   Dutkowski, Kim (external author)
  •   Fuller, Alexandra (external author)
  •   Walton, Karen L.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Huang, C. S., Dutkowski, K., Fuller, A. & Walton, K. (2015). Evaluation of a pilot volunteer feeding assistance program: influences on the dietary intakes of elderly hospitalised patients and lessons learnt. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 19 (2), 206-210.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84925501026

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3639&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/2619

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 4

Start Page


  • 206

End Page


  • 210

Volume


  • 19

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Germany

Abstract


  • Objectives

    Malnutrition is a serious concern in hospitals and is known to be associated with increased complications for patients, increased hospital costs and length of stay. Trained volunteers that assist ‘at risk’ and malnourished patients at lunch meals have been shown to effectively increase nutritional intake in a suburban hospital in Sydney. The pilot study reported here aimed to evaluate and share learnings from a similar, newly implemented program, comparing energy and macronutrient intakes on days with no volunteer assistance, to days with volunteers.

    Design

    Dietary intakes were determined by visual estimation of meal trays before and after meals, for two days without volunteers, and two days with volunteer assistance at lunch. Macronutrient and energy intakes were compared and data such as weight, height, diet type and medical history were obtained from medical records. Questionnaires were completed by nurses and volunteers in regards to their views and experiences with the program.

    Setting

    Hospital based.

    Results

    Eight patients (83±4.5 years) participated in the study. When volunteers were present at lunch, the average macronutrient and energy intakes increased, though not statistically significantly. The mean increases were 316kJ (p=0.175) for energy, 3.1g (p=0.468) for protein, 1.4g (p=0.418) for fat and 11.6g (p=0.084) for carbohydrates. Non-significant increases in macronutrients were also noted for the average daily intakes.

    Conclusion

    Although not statistically significant, energy and macronutrient intakes increased when volunteers were present. The implementation of a volunteer feeding assistance program is one strategy to assist dietary intakes but requires a ready team of volunteers, training, acceptance and significant time to develop.

Authors


  •   Huang, Chi-Sheng (external author)
  •   Dutkowski, Kim (external author)
  •   Fuller, Alexandra (external author)
  •   Walton, Karen L.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Huang, C. S., Dutkowski, K., Fuller, A. & Walton, K. (2015). Evaluation of a pilot volunteer feeding assistance program: influences on the dietary intakes of elderly hospitalised patients and lessons learnt. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 19 (2), 206-210.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84925501026

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3639&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/2619

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 4

Start Page


  • 206

End Page


  • 210

Volume


  • 19

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Germany