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Evidence-Based Analysis of Protected Mealtime Policies on Patient Nutrition and Care

Authors Porter J, Hanna L

Received 13 February 2020

Accepted for publication 16 June 2020

Published 6 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 713—721


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Judi Porter,1,2 Lauren Hanna2,3

1Deakin University, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; 2Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria 3168, Australia; 3Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence: Judi Porter
Deakin University, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Tel +61 3 9902 0659

Abstract: Malnutrition in hospitalized patients remains a significant problem. Protected Mealtimes is a complex, inter-professional ward-based intervention that was first introduced in the United Kingdom to address this issue. Now implemented internationally, the approach still remains in key policy documents including the National Health Service Essence of Care. This review aims to synthesize the nutrition, satisfaction and quality of life patient/resident outcomes that arise from the implementation of Protected Mealtimes in hospitals and residential aged care facilities and to consider fidelity issues that have been reported in previous research. A defined search strategy was implemented in seven databases to identify full text papers of original research that evaluated Protected Mealtimes implementation. After screening, data were extracted from eight studies (7 quantitative and 1 qualitative study) that were conducted in hospitals. There was no research identified from the aged care sector. There were few positive outcomes that resulted from Protected Mealtimes implementation, many fidelity issues with the intervention were reported. It is apparent that Protected Mealtimes provide few, if any, benefits for hospitalized patients. It is a complex, multi-pronged initiative that has limited fidelity and limited outcomes. As such, we recommend that disinvestment by policy makers for hospitals should be considered, with the implementation of other evidence based mealtime initiatives. We provide no recommendation for disinvestment in the aged care sector, since the approach has not been evaluated against any of the eligible outcomes of this review.

Keywords: disinvestment, hospitals, policy, Protected Mealtimes

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