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The impact of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on dietary intake and satisfaction with mealtime care in adult hospital inpatients: a systematic review

The impact of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on dietary intake and satisfaction with mealtime care in adult hospital inpatients: a systematic review
The impact of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on dietary intake and satisfaction with mealtime care in adult hospital inpatients: a systematic review
Background: Malnutrition is common in hospital inpatients and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Insufficient assistance at mealtimes can contribute to this and therefore trained volunteer mealtime assistants may be of benefit.

Objectives: To identify and review the current evidence for the impact of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on dietary intake and satisfaction with mealtime care in adult hospital inpatients.

Methods: A systematic search of Medline, Embase and CINAHL was conducted to identify relevant articles. Articles of any methodology were considered. Quality assessment and data extraction were carried out by two reviewers independently.

Participants: Participants were inpatients in a hospital setting, including rehabilitation units. Participants in long term care facilities were excluded.

Intervention: Articles that examined the effect of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on nutritional outcomes or satisfaction with mealtime care were included.

Results: 5576 articles were identified, of which 14 were included in the review. Nine were small research studies and five were quality improvement initiatives. The quality of eight studies was moderate, with one study being of lower quality. Eight articles reported dietary intake and seven demonstrated an improvement, with protein intakes at volunteer mealtimes increasing by 4.3g-10.1g and energy intakes by 44-105kcal. Ten articles reported positive staff, patient and volunteer feedback. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: There is evidence from small studies and improvement projects that trained volunteer mealtime assistants are safe and improve satisfaction with mealtime care in hospital inpatients, although evidence for an effect on dietary intake was less consistent. Larger studies with robust methodology are required to confirm this.

1279-7707
1-12
Howson, Fiona
7058d707-80f8-4cf7-b270-497b18275ca0
Aihie Sayer, Avan
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Roberts, Helen
5ea688b1-ef7a-4173-9da0-26290e18f253
Howson, Fiona
7058d707-80f8-4cf7-b270-497b18275ca0
Aihie Sayer, Avan
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Roberts, Helen
5ea688b1-ef7a-4173-9da0-26290e18f253

Howson, Fiona, Aihie Sayer, Avan and Roberts, Helen (2016) The impact of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on dietary intake and satisfaction with mealtime care in adult hospital inpatients: a systematic review. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 1-12. (doi:10.1007/s12603-016-0847-2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Malnutrition is common in hospital inpatients and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Insufficient assistance at mealtimes can contribute to this and therefore trained volunteer mealtime assistants may be of benefit.

Objectives: To identify and review the current evidence for the impact of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on dietary intake and satisfaction with mealtime care in adult hospital inpatients.

Methods: A systematic search of Medline, Embase and CINAHL was conducted to identify relevant articles. Articles of any methodology were considered. Quality assessment and data extraction were carried out by two reviewers independently.

Participants: Participants were inpatients in a hospital setting, including rehabilitation units. Participants in long term care facilities were excluded.

Intervention: Articles that examined the effect of trained volunteer mealtime assistants on nutritional outcomes or satisfaction with mealtime care were included.

Results: 5576 articles were identified, of which 14 were included in the review. Nine were small research studies and five were quality improvement initiatives. The quality of eight studies was moderate, with one study being of lower quality. Eight articles reported dietary intake and seven demonstrated an improvement, with protein intakes at volunteer mealtimes increasing by 4.3g-10.1g and energy intakes by 44-105kcal. Ten articles reported positive staff, patient and volunteer feedback. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: There is evidence from small studies and improvement projects that trained volunteer mealtime assistants are safe and improve satisfaction with mealtime care in hospital inpatients, although evidence for an effect on dietary intake was less consistent. Larger studies with robust methodology are required to confirm this.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 August 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 November 2016
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400639
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400639
ISSN: 1279-7707
PURE UUID: e64a64b5-97e6-4a44-ac4d-3cdf3b8430d2
ORCID for Helen Roberts: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5291-1880

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Date deposited: 23 Sep 2016 10:47
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 04:55

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Contributors

Author: Fiona Howson
Author: Avan Aihie Sayer
Author: Helen Roberts ORCID iD

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