Improving Accuracy of Texture-Modified Diets and Thickened Fluids Provision in the Hospital: Evidence in Action

Marie Hopper, Shelley Roberts, Rachel Wenke*, Zane Hopper, Leisa Bromiley, Chelsea Whillans, Andrea P. Marshall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Ensuring inpatients with dysphagia receive and consume the correct texture-modified diet and thickened fluid prescriptions is challenging, and errors can result in significant complications for patients and increased costs to hospitals. The aim of this study was to investigate underlying factors that help or hinder receipt and consumption of correct dietary prescriptions for people with dysphagia in the hospital setting then implement and evaluate a range of strategies to address identified issues. A mixed-methods study design, using an integrated knowledge translation approach, was conducted in three phases. In Phase 1, clinical incident data (i.e., documented incidents of diet/fluid errors, with errors defined as the provision or consumption of any food/fluid not appropriate for a patient’s dietary prescription) were analyzed, and staff, patients, and family members were interviewed using the Theoretical Domains Framework to identify factors contributing to errors. In Phase 2, health professionals assisted with the development and implementation of interventions targeted at micro (patient/family), meso (staff), and macro (organizational) levels to address factors identified in Phase 1. In Phase 3, outcomes including the change in number of dietary clinical incidents pre- to post-intervention, meal accuracy error rates from mealtime audits post-intervention, and follow-up interviews were evaluated using quantitative and qualitative measures. Post-intervention, there was a 50% reduction in clinical incidents, and a 2.3% meal accuracy error rate was observed. Staff reported most interventions were acceptable and feasible within their workload, although some interventions were not well embedded in everyday practice. This study highlights the value in using an integrated knowledge translation approach to inform tailored interventions targeting improved dietary accuracy in the hospital setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-500
JournalDysphagia
Volume37
Early online date23 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

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