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Meal and food preferences of nutritionally at-risk inpatients admitted to two Australian tertiary teaching hospitals

By Angela P. Vivanti, Merrilyn D. Banks, Judith Aliakbari, Michelle Suter, Mary T. Hannan-Jones and Elizabeth McBride

Abstract

Aim: To determine preferences for meals and snack of long-stay patients and hospitalised patients with increased energy and protein requirements.-----\ud Methods: Using consistent methodology across two tertiary teaching hospitals, a convenience sample of adult public hospital inpatients with increased energy and protein requirements or longer stays (seven days or more) were interviewed regarding meal and snack preferences. Descriptive reporting of sample representativeness, preferred foods and frequency of meals and between meal snacks.-----\ud Results: Of 134 respondents, 55% reported a decreased appetite and 28% rated their appetite as 'poor'. Most felt like eating either nothing (42%) or soup (15%) when unwell. The most desired foods were hot meal items, including eggs (31%), meat dishes (20%) and soup (69%). Of items not routinely available, soft drink (7.6%) and alcohol (6.7%) were most commonly desired during admission. Almost half (49%) reported difficulty opening packaged food and a majority (81%) indicated finger foods were easy to eat.-----\ud Conclusion: Appetites during admission were frequently lower than usual. Responses encourage consideration of eggs, meat dishes and soups for long-stayers or those with high-energy, high-protein needs. Easy to consume but not routinely offered, between meal items, such as soup, juice, cake, soft drink or Milo could be explored further to enhance oral intakes

Topics: 111717 Primary Health Care, Energy intake, Food preference, Hospital inpatient, Length of stay, Menu planning, Protein energy malnutrition prevention
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2007.00178.x
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:19067

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