Optimizing Eating Performance for Long-Term Care Residents With Dementia: Testing the Impact of Function-Focused Care for Cognitively Impaired

Wen Liu, Elizabeth Galik, Eun Shim Nahm, Marie Boltz, Barbara Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of a well-developed theory-based function-focused care for cognitively impaired (FFC-CI) intervention on eating performance among long-term care (LTC) residents with moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment. Design: A secondary analysis of longitudinal data from 2 cluster-randomized controlled trials that originally tested the impact of FFC-CI on all function and physical activities. Participants and Setting: Participants were 199 residents with moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment from 4 nursing homes and 4 assisted living facilities. Measurements: Data at baseline, and 3 and 6 months were used. Resident outcome data used in this analysis included eating performance conceptualized using the single self-care "feeding" item in the Barthel Index, cognitive function by Mini-Mental State Examination, sitting balance conceptualized using the single "chair sit-sitting balance" item in the Tinetti Gait and Balance scale, physical capability by Physical Capability Scale, depression by Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, and agitation by Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (short form). Results: At baseline, almost one-third (32.2%) of the 199 residents needed help with eating. There was no significant change with regard to eating performance over time in both groups, and no significant treatment by time difference between groups in eating performance (P = 195). Conclusion: Current findings support a need to revise the FFC-CI to better address eating performance. Future work may benefit from a stronger focus on eating performance rather than the more commonly addressed functional tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and ambulation. In addition, the inclusion of a more heterogeneous group of LTC residents with regard to eating performance is needed to test the impact of the revised approach on eating performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1068
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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