Comparison Between Quality of Care Provided by Trained Feeding Assistants and Certified Nursing Assistants During Between-Meal Supplementation in Long-Term Care Settings.


The purpose of this study was to compare the quality of feeding assistance provided by trained non-nursing staff with care provided by certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Research staff provided an 8-hr training course that met federal and state requirements to non-nursing staff in five community long-term care facilities. Trained staff were assigned to between-meal supplement and/or snack delivery for 24 weeks. Using standardized observations, research staff measured feeding assistance care processes between meals across all study weeks. Trained staff, nurse aides, and upper level staff were interviewed at 24 weeks to assess staff perceptions of program impact. Trained staff performed significantly better than CNAs for 12 of 13 care process measures. Residents also consumed significantly more calories per snack offer from trained staff ( M = 130 ± 126 [ SD] kcal) compared with CNAs ( M = 77 ± 94 [ SD] kcal). The majority of staff reported a positive impact of the training program.