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Table 3 Fidelity with the Protected Mealtimes intervention

From: The efficacy of Protected Mealtimes in hospitalised patients: a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial

Protected Mealtimes policy component Control period Intervention period
Mealtime interruptions:
Number of positive interruptions 805 1016
Length of positive interruptions (seconds)(median, IQR)a 18 (5–50) 20 (8–52)
Reason for positive interruptions; n (%)   
 Mealtime assistance 167 (20.7) 227 (22.3)
 Encouragement with eating 180 (22.4) 268 (26.4)
 Re-positioning 124 (15.4) 183 (18.0)
 Assistance with opening food packaging 111 (13.8) 176 (17.3)
 Other reason 219 (27.2) 158 (15.6)
 No reason recorded 4 (0.5) 4 (0.4)
Number of negative interruptions 579 477
Length of negative interruptions (seconds)(median, IQR) 50 (23–132) 54 (23–140)
Reason for negative interruptions: n (%)
 Medications 235 (40.6) 206 (43.2)
 Ward round 12 (2.1) 1 (0.2)
 Patient observations (e.g. temperature, BP) 42 (7.3) 39 (8.2)
 Non-essential treatment 68 (11.7) 36 (7.5)
 Interview 64 (11.0) 32 (6.7)
 Support staff role (e.g. menu completion) 33 (5.7) 26 (5.4)
 Telephone call 7 (1.2) 17 (3.6)
 Other 115 (19.9) 120 (25.2)
 Missing 3 (0.5) 0
Non-nurses providing mealtime assistance (mean per meal) 1.3 2.9
Nurses providing mealtime assistance (mean per meal) 0.9 1.3
Patient required toilet during meals (n) 7 15
Observation of patient hand washing prior to food consumption (where hands could be washed) n (%) 73 (11.8) 63 (9.9)
Observation of patient in an upright position to eat meal; n (%) 591 (95.9) 593 (94.4)
Ability to reach food within 10 minutes of meal commencement; n (%) 581 (93.4) 588 (92.5)
Functional Independence Measure completed (of unique participants) n (%) 81 (98.8) 104 (99.0)
Meal sign displayed (during meals observed) n (%) 13 (48.1) 31 (93.9)
Ward entry doors closed (during meals observed) n (%) 9 (33.3) 23 (69.7)
Staff providing mealtime assistance being called to the telephone (n) 2 2
Dining room in use Not measured No change
Dining room clean and set up for dining 11 of 11 12 of 12
  1. PM Protected Mealtimes, IQR Inter-quartile range, BP blood pressure
  2. aLength of interruptions was calculated among only those participants experiencing positive or negative interruptions