Factors associated with eating assistance among long-term care residents: A making the most of mealtimes (M3) analysis

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Gravelle, Amanda
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Introduction: Long-term care (LTC) residents requiring eating assistance are at nutritional risk. Objectives: To identify characteristics of LTC residents requiring eating assistance and examine factors associated with eating challenges. Methods: Secondary data from the Making the Most of Mealtimes study was analyzed including a Mini Nutritional Assessment–Short Form, Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment, energy intake, Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation in Dementia, knee height, ulna length, weight and Cognitive Performance Scale. Descriptive statistics, analyses of variance and linear regressions were conducted. Results: 23% of participants required some form of eating assistance. Energy intake was highest for residents requiring eating assistance “Often”. More eating challenges were associated with higher energy intake, lower Body Mass Index, poor nutritional status, and increased cognitive impairment. Conclusion: Residents requiring any eating assistance were more likely to be malnourished and have more eating challenges. Interventions are needed to improve the nutritional status of residents with varying assistance requirements.
Eating challenges, Nutrition, Eating assistance, Long-term care