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Influence of environmental factors on food intake among nursing home residents: a survey combined with a video approach

Authors Buckinx F, Reginster J, Morelle A, Paquot N, Labeye N, Locquet M, Adam S, Bruyère O

Received 2 March 2017

Accepted for publication 22 May 2017

Published 4 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1055—1064


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Fanny Buckinx,1 Jean-Yves Reginster,1 Alison Morelle,2 Nicolas Paquot,3 Nicole Labeye,3 Médéa Locquet,1 Stéphane Adam,4,* Olivier Bruyère1,5,*

1Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics, University of Liège, 2Nutrition and Dietetics, Haute Ecole de la Province de Liège, 3Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, University Teaching Hospital of Liège, 4Psychology of Senescence, 5Department of Sport Sciences and Rehabilitation, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: In addition to the well-known physiological factors, dietary behavior that affects health seems to be influenced by a wide variety of environmental factors. The aim of this study was to assess, by means of an original video approach, the influence of the environment on food intake in nursing homes.
Methods: The perception of the environment during meals in nursing homes was evaluated by residents and by two groups of volunteers who either work in the field of geriatrics, or who do not work in the field of geriatrics. First, a random sample of residents answered a self-administered questionnaire related to different indicators (ie, noise, space, comfort, light, odors, perceived satisfaction of meals, taste of meals, presentation of meals, service and setting). Second, two separate panels, one including the people who work in the field of geriatrics (ie, experts) and one including the people who have no particular interest in geriatrics (ie, nonexperts), were asked to answer a questionnaire on their perception of the environment after having watched a video of the lunch in each nursing home. Then, the food intake of the residents was measured by a precise food-weighing method.
Results: A total of 88 residents from nine different nursing homes, 18 experts and 45 nonexperts answered the questionnaires. This study highlighted that, on the one hand, after adjustment on confounding variables, the perception of the quantity of food served by the residents is the only single factor associated with food consumption (P=0.003). On the other hand, experts and nonexperts did not perceive any environmental factor that seems to be significantly associated with residents’ food intake.
Conclusion: Our results highlighted that, in a nursing home setting, environmental factors have limited influence on the food intake of the residents, with the exception of their own perception of the quantity served. The relevance of this factor deserves further investigation.

Keywords: nutritional intake, older persons, institution, meal environment

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