Simmons SF, Durkin DW, Shotwell MS, Erwin S, Schnelle JF. A staff training and management intervention in VA long-term care: impact on feeding assistance care quality. Translational behavioral medicine. 2013 Jun;3(3). 189-99. PMID: 24073169 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC3717980
Efforts to translate efficacious interventions into long-term care practice have had limited success due to the lack of consideration of key translational intervention components. A multi-faceted intervention was implemented in two veteran affairs facilities to improve feeding assistance care. There were three study phases: baseline, intervention, and follow-up. During each phase, trained research staff conducted standardized observations of 12 meals/participant to assess feeding assistance care quality. The staff received three initial training sessions followed by six consecutive weeks of feedback sessions wherein the observation-based care process measures were shared with the staff. There were significant, but modest, improvements in mealtime feeding assistance care processes, and most of the improvements were maintained during follow-up. A multi-faceted intervention resulted in significant, but modest, improvements in mealtime feeding assistance care quality. Organizational (staff schedules, communication) and environmental (dining location) barriers were identified that interfered with improvement efforts.