Aim: To examine the association of resident characteristics, staff mealtime assistance and environmental stimulation with the pace of food intake. Design: A secondary analysis of 36 baseline eating videos involving 19 nursing assistants and 15 residents with dementia in eight nursing homes from a communication intervention study. Methods: The outcome variable was the pace of food intake (the number of bites and drinks per minute). The exploratory variables were resident characteristics (age, gender, dementia stage and eating performance), staff mealtime assistance (frequency of verbal, visual, partial and full physical assistance) and environmental stimulation. Multi-level models were used to examine the association. Results: A faster pace of food intake is associated with being male, better eating performance, staff provision of visual and physical assistance and better quality of environmental stimulation that involved interaction. The pace of food intake was not associated with resident age, staff verbal assistance or partial physical assistance.
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