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Table 4 Promising interventions that are presently unproven, but that warrant early reassessment in high quality and well powered RCTsa

From: Effectiveness of interventions to directly support food and drink intake in people with dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis

Aim Potential interventions (presently unproven) which warrant early reassessment
Increase weight and/or BMI o Oral Nutrition Supplements (ONS) (Figs. 2 and 3)
o ONS, gratin diet for those with swallowing problems, plus exercise and oral care (Beck) [31]
o Dysphagia diet (reformed minced and pureed foods and thickened fluids) for those with swallowing problems (Germain) [57]
o Meal replacement with commercial lyophilised supplement (Salas-Salvado) [61]
o Multifactorial intervention including enhanced menu, individualised food service, more dietetic time, increased nutritional awareness and communication (Keller) [63]
o Individual mealtime assistance (Wong) [67]
o Shared mealtime with staff (Charras) [69]
Improve hydration o No particularly useful interventions were noted, but cervical spine manipulation appeared to increase dysphagia limit for those with swallowing problems (Bautmans) [56]
Support meaningful engagement with food and/or drink o Eating with carers (Charras) [69]
o Family style meals for people with dementia, enhanced further by staff training (Altus) [68]
o Facilitated breakfast club with supported involvement in preparing, conversing, eating and clearing up (Santo Pietro) [71]
Improve quality of life o Reminiscence cooking sessions (Huang 2009) [70]
Support eating independence o No particularly useful interventions assessed
Improve quantity, quality or adequacy of food or fluid intake o Combination of ONS, gratin diet, exercise and oral care (Beck) [32]
o Finger food provision (Soltesz) [60]
o High carbohydrate dinners (Young) [62]
o Meal time or between meal feeding assistance, or individual mealtime assistance (Simmons 2008, Wong 2008) [66, 67]
o Dysphagia diet (reformed minced and pureed foods and thickened fluids) for those with swallowing problems (Germain) [57]
  1. aIf you or someone you care for is experiencing difficulties with eating or drinking ALWAYS discuss these eating and drinking problems with your/their doctor, and ask to be referred to a dietitian and/or Speech and Language Therapist