Seventeen studies were evaluated regarding eating assistance in older adults. Four studies report that residents needing assistance to eat are more likely to receive assistance when staffing levels are adequate. Eight studies report a positive association between eating dependency and poor nutritional status. Five studies evaluating the impact of eating assistance on food intake and weight status report conflicting findings due to study length and degree of comorbidity; studies of longer duration in residents with different levels of illness acuity are needed.
Grade II Overall strength of the available supporting evidence: Grade I - good; Grade II - fair; Grade III - limited; Grade IV - expert opinion; Grade V: not assignable
Seven studies were evaluated regarding the use of modified texture diets in older adults with dysphagia. People consuming modified texture diets report an increased need for assistance with eating, dissatisfaction with foods, and decreased enjoyment of eating, resulting in decreased food intake and weight loss. Recognition of the social and psychological burden of dysphagia, an individualized treatment approach and the provision of eating assistance may contribute to increased food intake and weight maintenance or weight gain.
Grade I Overall strength of the available supporting evidence: Grade I - good; Grade II - fair; Grade III - limited; Grade IV - expert opinion; Grade V: not assignable