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Recommendations Summary

UWL: Dining Environment 2009

Click here to see the explanation of recommendation ratings (Strong, Fair, Weak, Consensus, Insufficient Evidence) and labels (Imperative or Conditional). To see more detail on the evidence from which the following recommendations were drawn, use the hyperlinks in the Supporting Evidence Section below.


  • Recommendation(s)

    UWL: Dining with Others

    The Registered Dietitian (RD) should collaborate with other health care professionals and administrators to encourage all older adults to dine with others rather than dining alone.  Research reports improved food intake and nutritional status in older adults eating in a socially stimulating common dining area.

    Rating: Strong
    Imperative

    UWL: Improvement of Dining Ambience

    The Registered Dietitian (RD) should collaborate with other health care professionals and administrators to promote improvement of dining ambience.  Research indicates that improvements in physical environment and atmosphere of the dining room, food service and meals, and organization of the nursing staff assistance may result in weight gain in older adults.

    Rating: Strong
    Imperative

    UWL: Creative Dining Programs

    The Registered Dietitian (RD) should encourage creative dining programs for older adults.  Research indicates that dining programs, such as buffet-style dining and decentralization of food service, demonstrate improvements in food intake and/or quality of life.

    Rating: Strong
    Imperative

    • Risks/Harms of Implementing This Recommendation

      None.

    • Conditions of Application

      • Dining with others, improvement of dining ambience and creative dining programs are important components of person-centered care.
      • Facility layout may limit application of these recommendations.

    • Potential Costs Associated with Application

      • Improvement of dining room ambience may involve design and construction costs.
      • The implementation of creative dining programs may result in increased food and labor costs.

    • Recommendation Narrative

      • Nine studies were evaluated regarding dining environment in older adults. 
      • Three studies report improved food intake and nutritional status in residents eating in a socially stimulating common dining area (Simmons and Levy-Storms, 2005; Wright et al, 2006; Xia and McCutcheon, 2006). 
      • Two studies focusing on improved dining ambience (such as physical environment and atmosphere of the dining room, food service and meals, and organization of the nursing staff assistance) resulted in resident weight gain (Mathey et al, 2001; Mamhidir et al, 2007). 
      • Two studies based on creative dining programs (such as buffet-style dining and meal portioning on resident floors) demonstrate improvements in quality of life and/or food intake (Shatenstein and Ferland, 2000; Remsburg et al, 2001). 
      • Studies of longer duration in residents with different levels of illness acuity are needed.   

    • Recommendation Strength Rationale

      • Conclusion Statement in support of this recommendation received Grade II

    • Minority Opinions

      Consensus reached.