Nutrition and dementia care: developing an evidence-based model for nutritional care in nursing homes

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Murphy, Jane L. ; Holmes, Joanne ; Brooks, Cindy (2017)

Background: There is a growing volume of research to offer improvements in nutritional care for people with<br/>dementia living in nursing homes. Whilst a number of interventions have been identified to support food and<br/>drink intake, there has been no systematic research to understand the factors for improving nutritional care from<br/>the perspectives of all those delivering care in nursing homes. The aim of this study was to develop a research<br/>informed model for understanding the complex nutritional problems associated with eating and drinking for<br/>people with dementia.<br/>Methods: We conducted nine focus groups and five semi-structured interviews with those involved or who have<br/>a level of responsibility for providing food and drink and nutritional care in nursing homes (nurses, care workers,<br/>catering assistants, dietitians, speech and language therapists) and family carers. The resulting conceptual model<br/>was developed by eliciting care-related processes, thus supporting credibility from the perspective of the end-users.<br/>Results: The seven identified domain areas were person-centred nutritional care (the overarching theme);<br/>availability of food and drink; tools, resources and environment; relationship to others when eating and drinking;<br/>participation in activities; consistency of care and provision of information.<br/>Conclusions: This collaboratively developed, person-centred model can support the design of new education and<br/>training tools and be readily translated into existing programmes. Further research is needed to evaluate whether<br/>these evidence-informed approaches have been implemented successfully and adopted into practice and policy<br/>contexts and can demonstrate effectiveness for people living with dementia.
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