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Weight increase in patients with dementia, and alteration in meal routines and meal environment after integrity promoting care.
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of palliative care research. Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5994-4012
2007 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 16, no 5, 987-96 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS: To follow weight changes in patients with moderate and severe dementia and analyse how these changes related to biological and psychological parameters after staff education and support in integrity promoting care. A further aim was to describe meal environment and routines relative to the intervention. BACKGROUND: Weight loss in patients with dementia and in particular Alzheimer's disease is common. The aetiology appears multifactorial with the meal environment and a decreased independence while eating among the factors. METHOD: Over a three-month intervention period, an integrity-promoting care training programme was conducted with the staff of a long-term ward. Alzheimer's disease patients, 18 from an intervention ward and 15 from a control ward were included and possible effects were evaluated. Weighing was conducted at the start and after completion of the intervention. Weight changes were analysed in relation to psychological and biochemical parameters. In addition, the staff wrote diaries about, for example changes made in the environment and in their work. RESULTS: The most prominent difference observed was weight increases in 13 of 18 patients compared with two of 15 patients in the control ward. No weight changes were related to the type of dementia. The individual weight changes correlated significantly to changes in the intellectual functions. Relationships between weight change, increased motor function and increased appetite were non-significant. There was no significant relationship between weight changes and changes in biochemical parameters. According to the staff, increased contact with the patients and a more pleasant atmosphere resulted when the meal environment and routines were changed. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Weight gain in patients with moderate and severe dementia was achieved by adjusting the meal environment to the individual's needs. Staff education was profitable, as increased competence seemed to promote individually adapted feeding situations. Ensuring good meal situations need to be given high priority.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 16, no 5, 987-96 p.
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-506DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01780.xPubMedID: 17462050OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-506DiVA: diva2:329950
Available from: 2010-07-14 Created: 2010-07-14 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved

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