Engaging food service providers to change food service practices in aged care facilities

Louisa Matwiejczyk, Rachel Roberts, Olivia Farrer, Gabrielle O'Dea, Georgia Bevan, Laura Nairn, Michelle Miller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Aim: The present study describes the impact of a novel education program for food service staff from Australian aged care facilities (ACF) to facilitate improvements in food service practices. The purpose was to explore; (i) the impact of the intervention (ii) barriers and facilitators of the program from food service providers’ perspectives and (iii) make program planning and practice recommendations. Methods: Participants completed pre- and post-program questionnaires, attended two focus groups on program process and impact and 4 months later reported through individual interviews on changes they had implemented. Results were triangulated between the questionnaires, focus groups and interviews and impacts and outcomes identified through directed content analysis. Results: Thirty senior-level chefs and a cook participated from 27 ACF from Victoria, Australia. Participation impacted on the menu, dining experiences and food service practices. All of the participants were enacting changes in their workplace 4 months later as change agents. A focus on skilling the participants as ‘change agents’, brokering ongoing peer-support and the celebrity and/or expert status of the facilitators were attributed to the success of the intervention. Conclusions: This novel intervention empowered Victorian food service providers to make positive changes in ACF. Further research is required to measure if these self-reported changes are sustainable and relevant to other facilities and to establish the effect on food experience, satisfaction and well-being of residents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-389
    Number of pages9
    JournalNutrition and Dietetics
    Volume75
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

    Keywords

    • Focus groups
    • Food services
    • Personal satisfaction
    • Qualitative research
    • Quality of life
    • Workforce
    • Aged care facilities

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