Food Service and Nutritional Care in Swedish Elderly Care : The Progress of National Actions and their Local Interpretations

Sammanfattning: The main aim of this thesis is to study local level outcomes regarding food service and nutritional care in Swedish elderly care in relation to the progress of national actions. Study I compared results from a repeated national survey using a questionnaire investigating the general structure and organisation of food service in elderly care. Study II built on data merged from a questionnaire, open comparison survey data and records from the quality registry Senior Alert to investigate nutritional care practice, focusing on quality indicators related to food service. Study III was a web-based questionnaire that described perceived facilitators in the process of adopting a national regulation that aims to prevent and treat malnutrition. Study IV explored associations between the level of adoption of the regulation and registrations in Senior Alert using registry data and results from a questionnaire.       Differences were found primarily between rural and city municipality groups. The predominant food service organisation was public, but city municipalities reported a higher and increased use of private providers, chilled production and meal choices. The number of clinical/community dietitians had declined significantly between the surveys. Access to this profession was associated with being well-nourished. Food service dietitians and private providers were positively associated with meal satisfaction, while the food production system cook-chill was negatively associated. One year after the launch of the regulation, 50% of municipalities had adopted new routines. The odds for adoption were higher in municipalities where preventive work was already in progress, the regulation was considered helpful, and where facilitators had long experience of working in elderly care. The most important support factors for the adoption of new routines were cooperation between professions and well-defined goals. There was no significant difference in nutritional screening scores associated with adoption rate, but, in general, the number of individuals registered in Senior Alert increased after the entry into force of the regulation.     In conclusion, this thesis contributes increased knowledge about the different outcomes in local level practices in relation to central actions. The results indicate a strong local autonomy and the importance of local access to sufficient capacity and knowledge.