Document Detail

Hospital inpatients' experiences of access to food: a qualitative interview and observational study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18816325     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Hospital surveys indicate that overall patients are satisfied with hospital food. However undernutrition is common and associated with a number of negative clinical outcomes. There is little information regarding food access from the patients' perspective. PURPOSE: To examine in-patients' experiences of access to food in hospitals. METHODS: Qualitative semi-structured interviews with 48 patients from eight acute wards in two London teaching hospitals. Responses were coded and analysed thematically using NVivo. RESULTS: Most patients were satisfied with the quality of the meals, which met their expectations. Almost half of the patients reported feeling hungry during their stay and identified a variety of difficulties in accessing food. These were categorized as: organizational barriers (e.g. unsuitable serving times, menus not enabling informed decision about what food met their needs, inflexible ordering systems); physical barriers (not in a comfortable position to eat, food out of reach, utensils or packaging presenting difficulties for eating); and environmental factors (e.g. staff interrupting during mealtimes, disruptive and noisy behaviour of other patients, repetitive sounds or unpleasant smells). Surgical and elderly patients and those with physical disabilities experienced greatest difficulty accessing food, whereas younger patients were more concerned about choice, timing and the delivery of food. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital in-patients often experienced feeling hungry and having difficulty accessing food. These problems generally remain hidden because staff fail to notice and because patients are reluctant to request assistance.
Smriti Naithani; Kevin Whelan; Jane Thomas; Martin C Gulliford; Myfanwy Morgan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1369-7625     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Expect     Publication Date:  2008 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-09-25     Completed Date:  2008-11-10     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815926     Medline TA:  Health Expect     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  294-303     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Health and Social Care Research, Department of Public Health Sciences, King's College London, London, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Food Service, Hospital / standards*
Health Care Surveys
Health Services Accessibility
Hospital-Patient Relations*
Hospitals, Teaching / standards
Hospitals, Urban / standards
Inpatients / psychology*
Middle Aged
Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
Professional-Patient Relations*
Qualitative Research
Quality Indicators, Health Care
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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