1Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
2Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences Mashhad, Iran.
3School of Medicine، Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Introduction: Malnutrition is a common problem in hospitalized patients, results in a wide range of negative clinical and economic challenges. Protected mealtimes (PM) aim to enhance the quality of the mealtime experience and improve nutrient status in hospitalized patients and limit all non-essential interruptions so patients are eating in a clean, quiet and safe environment. The present study was carried out to determine whether 2 educational hospitals of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences adhered to the implemented protected mealtimes about non-urgency interruptions. Materials and Methods: This study is a clinical audit and was conducted in Mashhad educational hospitals, in order to evaluate the mealtime’s interruptions that occurred by non-nutritional staffs and influenced on food intake. Data were collected by direct observation. Lunchtime was chosen for audit. A mealtime environment was observed and every negative interruption the meal was registered on the sheet. Exclusion criteria were patients who were nil-by-mouth or receiving enteral or parenteral nutrition. Result: 208 patients were involved in the audit. The negative interruptions recorded, including; medical round, educational round, nurses’ change-of-shift and activities of environmental service workers. Among interruptions, both medical round and nurses’ change-of-shift were the most interruptions. All interruptions at meal time summarized to medical round (2.5%) (including serum replace, drug injection, IV replace) , change-of-shift (2.5%) and environmental service worker activities (2%) and educational round (2%). Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that non-urgent interruptions during mealtimes were not adhered to protected mealtime guideline, indicating the importance of addressing meal time related issues in hospitals.