Sygeplejevidenskab.dk

Annonce

Mealtimes in single-room accommodation: The patients’ perspective

Abstract Aim: To investigate how patients admitted to single-room accommodation experience mealtime situations.
Methods: The study employed an ethnographical phenomenological design using the go-along method. From April to September 2022, 40 hours of meal-related observations and informal conversations with ten patients were completed in a Danish cardiac medicine ward and a vascular surgery ward. Data were analysed using a Ricoeur-inspired method.
Results: Admission to a single-room is not unequivocally excellent or wrong with respect to the patients’ experiences of the meal or their perceived appetite. Nevertheless, meals were often referred to as the highlights of the day. Patients were positive about their own influence on their food choices, but they needed to experience professionals talking to them about healthy nutrition. Privacy was greatly emphasised, and most patients chose to eat alone because of their condition. Therefore, eating in the common dining room was seldom chosen. The results are presented in two themes: 1) Beyond the tray: Understanding the significance of meals for patients in single-rooms, and 2) Alone – but not lonely.

Conclusions: Single-rooms allow for privacy during illness and recovery and make it possible to have private conversations about adequate nutrition. Clear professional responsibility needs to be assigned for the meal in single-room accommodation.

Relevance to clinical practice: Knowledge of patients’ perspectives may guide nurses’ approaches to communicating with patients about the importance of the meal.

Keywords: Nursing; Nutrition; Hospital design; Single-room accommodation; Qualitative research