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Improving mealtime care for people with dementia: A training intervention for care home staff

Lookup NU author(s): James Faraday, Dr Clare Abley, Professor Catherine Exley, Dr Joanne Patterson


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© 2021 the Alzheimer's Association.BACKGROUND: More and more people with dementia are living in care homes. Often they depend on care home staff for help with eating and drinking. It is essential that care home staff are able to provide good care at mealtimes. The aim of this intervention development study was to produce a staff training intervention to improve mealtimes for people with dementia. METHOD: There were three phases to the study. The first phase was an evidence synthesis of relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature, using robust systematic review methods. Data were interrogated to identify thematic categories of carer-resident interaction in mealtime care. The second phase was an ethnography conducted in UK care homes, to explore current practice in mealtime care, and identify good practice. This included over twenty-five hours of mealtime observations, and twenty-two semi-structured interviews with care home staff, family carers, and visiting health and social care professionals. The third phase was a series of co-development workshops, in which key stakeholders worked together to create a prototype training intervention, informed by evidence from phases one and two. RESULT: The training intervention content was selected to promote key components of mealtime care, including empowerment, independence, and social interaction. The delivery methods were designed to employ collaborative learning techniques and interactive activities. Issues of implementation, evaluation and context were considered. This will inform the design of a feasibility study, which will aim to ensure that the intervention is scalable, transferable and sustainable. CONCLUSION: Training interventions which are developed using relevant evidence and in collaboration with key stakeholders are more likely to be successful. This intervention development study seeks to demonstrate the value of such an approach. The feasibility study will test the intervention's acceptability to recipients, and potential to impact practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Faraday J, Abley C, Exley C, Patterson J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association

Year: 2021

Volume: 17

Issue: S7

Print publication date: 01/02/2022

Online publication date: 01/02/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1552-5260

ISSN (electronic): 1552-5279

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/alz.051104

PubMed id: 35109574


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