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Meeting the medical, nutritional, and psychosocial mealtime needs of aged care residents requires a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. To date the perspectives of this multidisciplinary team have not been adequately explored. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of a range of service providers involved in mealtime management in residential aged care. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 61 participants from five service disciplines. Four themes emerged: (1 Hotaling DL . Adapting the mealtime environment: setting the stage for eating . Dysphagia. 1990 ; 5 ( 2 ): 77 – 83 . [Crossref], [PubMed], [Google Scholar] ) mealtimes are highly valued; (2 Kayser-Jones J . Mealtime in nursing homes: the importance of individualised care . J Gerontol Nurs. 1996 ; 22 ( 3 ): 26 – 31 . [Crossref], [PubMed], [Google Scholar] ) service providers face common barriers to mealtime management; (3 Kayser-Jones J , Schell E . The effect of staffing on the quality of care at mealtime . Nurs Outlook. 1997 ; 45 ( 2 ): 64 – 72 . [Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar] ) communication among service providers is challenging; and (4 Sidenvall B , Fjellstrom C , Ek A . The meal situation in geriatric care: intentions and experiences . J Adv Nurs. 1994 ; 20 ( 4 ): 613 – 21 . [Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar] ) education in mealtime management is limited. Data indicated service providers acknowledge the importance of mealtimes but recognize numerous shortfalls in current care. The need for interdisciplinary training and increased communication and collaboration among providers was emphasized, including the need for clarification of provider roles. Limited consideration of mealtimes in policy and funding documents was identified as a primary barrier in further prioritizing mealtime management and advancing mealtime care.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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