Derriford team seeks to improve patient nutrition through food presentation

A gastroenterologist and workforce of dieticians at Derriford Hospital are searching for to search out out whether or not a affected person’s urge for food will be elevated by the presentation of their meals, with a purpose to enhance inpatient diet.

In specific, the workforce are trying on the impression of utilizing differing types and colors of cutlery and crockery, and whether or not this impacts the quantity of meals consumed by sufferers.

“There are a number of pre-conceptions and pre-conceived concepts on the market that normally, hospital meals is just not very interesting to sufferers,” defined Dr Paula Murphy, dietician at University Hospitals Plymouth.

“However, it is a nice alternative to create the primary actual evidence-base for this type of data, moderately than purely working from anecdotal perspective.

“We’re actually excited for this opportunity to show whether or not one thing so easy, equivalent to altering the environmental scenario, can encourage our sufferers to eat extra and enhance their well being and restoration by nourishment.”

The workforce have already performed the primary section of the examine, which concerned asking sufferers to fee photographs taken of hospital meals served on a wide range of crockery and with non-standard cutlery.

The hottest selection will then be used compared to the usual crockery and cutlery used on the Trust, in a randomised managed trial.

Patients staying on the gastroenterology ward can be invited to participate, and can be requested to finish satisfaction surveys after receiving their meals. Their meals may also be weighed earlier than and after, with a purpose to measure consumption.

“Exploring whether or not the looks of meals can enhance urge for food has at all times been on my agenda,” stated Professor Stephen Lewis, guide gastroenterologist.

“We’re actually fortunate that the catering workforce right here on the Trust are totally engaged and supportive of this examine, as we’ll rely closely on their help.”

This isn’t the one analysis examine being performed at UHP aimed toward enhancing affected person diet.

Paula defined: “As the Trust celebrates Nutrition and Hydration Week 2021, it’s essential to spotlight that this isn’t the primary examine we have now performed about meal consumption. In truth, enhancing affected person diet is excessive on the analysis agenda, and we’re eager to work with all areas inside the Trust to evaluate how we and our colleagues could make a distinction.”

One of Paula’s most up-to-date research noticed her conduct a potential audit of the dietary standing of pre-surgical pancreatic most cancers sufferers, just lately printed within the European Journal of Surgical Oncology.

Her outcomes confirmed that numerous sufferers have been discovered to be poor in vitamin D and zinc, and plenty of had a selenium deficiency, which might have been left untreated as a consequence of them being asymptomatic.

However, because of this early identification, these dietary points could possibly be addressed previous to surgical procedure, which finally might assist to enhance affected person outcomes. It actually paves the way in which for future analysis on this space.

A fellow dietician, Dayvid Rich, additionally just lately performed a venture with aged sufferers on the frailty unit at Derriford.

The goal was to enhance dietary standing and affected person outcomes by dietary evaluation and dietary prescriptions.

Following particular person evaluation, sufferers have been supplied with a tailor-made dietary plan, with outcomes equivalent to weight and hand-grip energy monitored in consequence.

The pilot venture was successful, with nearly all of sufferers enhancing their wellbeing and decreasing problems related to undernutrition.

To discover out extra in regards to the work of the analysis and improvement workforce at UHP go to

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