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BMJ Open Qual ; 10(2)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169878


BACKGROUND: Mealtimes occur six times a day on eating disorder (ED) inpatient units and are a mainstay of treatment for EDs. However, these are often distressing and anxiety provoking times for patients and staff. A product of patients' distress is an increase in ED behaviours specific to mealtimes. The aim of this quality improvement project was to decrease the number of ED behaviours at mealtimes in the dining room through the implementation of initiatives identified through diagnostic work. METHODS: The Model for Improvement was used as the systematic approach for this project. Baseline assessment included observations in the dining room, gathering of qualitative feedback from staff and patients and the development of an ED behaviours form used by patients and staff. The first change idea of a host role in the dining room was introduced, and the impact was assessed. RESULTS: The introduction of the host role has reduced the average number of ED behaviours per patient in the dining room by 35%. Postintervention feedback demonstrated that the introduction of the host role tackled the disorganisation and chaotic feeling in the dining room which in turn has reduced distress and anxiety for patients and staff. CONCLUSIONS: This paper shows the realities of a quality improvement (QI) project on an ED inpatient unit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results are positive for changes made; however, a large challenge, as described has been staff engagement.

COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders/psychology , Food Service, Hospital/standards , Meals/psychology , Quality Improvement , Adult , Anxiety/psychology , Behavior Observation Techniques , Feeding and Eating Disorders/therapy , Female , Humans , Inpatients/psychology , Male , Personnel, Hospital/psychology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/psychology