Using Technology to Promote Patient Engagement in Nutrition Care: A Feasibility Study
Empowering patients to participate in nutrition care during hospitalisation may improve their dietary intakes and associated outcomes. This study tested the acceptability and feasibility of a technology-based intervention to engage hospital patients in nutrition care at a tertiary teaching hospital in Australia. The hospital used an electronic foodservice system (EFS), by which patients ordered meals via bedside computers. Adults at nutritional risk received the nutrition technology (NUTRI-TEC)
... hnology (NUTRI-TEC) intervention, involving nutrition assessment, education on nutrition requirements and training on using the EFS to enter food intakes and monitor nutrition goals. Acceptability was assessed using patient satisfaction and engagement surveys. Feasibility was assessed by evaluating the intervention delivery/fidelity and patient recruitment/retention. Patients' dietary intakes were observed daily to indicate the intervention's effects and assess the accuracy of the patient-recorded intakes. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Of the 71 patients recruited, 49 completed the study (55% male; median (IQR) age 71 (65–78) years; length of stay 10 (7–14) days). Patient satisfaction with NUTRI-TEC was high. Intervention delivery and fidelity targets were met but recruitment (≥50%) and retention (≥75%) targets were not; only 31% of patients agreed to participate and 69% completed the study (mostly due to unexpected/early discharge). Patient- and researcher-recorded dietary intakes correlated strongly, indicating patients can record food intakes accurately using technology. This study highlights the important role technology is likely to play in facilitating patient engagement and improving care during hospitalisation.