Improving Food and Fluid Intake for Older Adults Living in Long-Term Care: A Research Agenda
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Poor food and fluid intake and malnutrition are endemic among older adults in long-term care (LTC), yet feasible and sustainable interventions that target key determinants and improve person-centered outcomes remain elusive. Without a comprehensive study addressing a range of determinants to identify those that are of greatest importance for targeting with interventions, expert consensus can be used to develop a research agenda. International experts and stakeholders convened for a 2-day meeting to participate in a nominal group process to identify and prioritize determinants of food and fluid intake for persons living in LTC. Top determinants to address with intervention research included social interactions of residents at mealtime; self-feeding ability; the dining environment; the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of staff; adequate time to eat/availability of staff to provide assistance; sensory properties of the food; hospitality and mealtime logistics; choice and variety in the dining experience; and nutrient density of food. Multimodal interventions that could target these prioritized determinants were also suggested. This consensus process has resulted in a prioritized research agenda for the development and testing of interventions to improve food and fluid intake of older adults living in LTC.
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