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Table 7 Promising interventions that are presently unproven, but that warrant early reassessment in high quality and well powered RCTsa

From: Effectiveness of interventions to indirectly support food and drink intake in people with dementia: Eating and Drinking Well IN dementiA (EDWINA) systematic review

Aim Potential interventions (presently unproven) which warrant early reassessment
Increase weight and/or BMI o Eating meals with care-givers eating alongside (Charras)
o Soothing mealtime music (Wong 2008)
o Glass-door fridge with constantly accessible snacks and additional time for meals (Wong)
o Extensive staff education and support (Mamhidir) – though smaller amounts of support are not so promising
o Education and support for informal care-givers of people with dementia (Riviere and Hanson)
o Spaced retrieval and Montessori activities (Wu 2013)
o Multicomponent intervention including chocolate supplements, gratin diet, exercise and oral hygiene twice weekly (Beck)
o Multicomponent intervention including enhanced menu, more dietetic time, increased nutritional awareness and communication (Keller)
Improve hydration o No very encouraging interventions found
Supporting meaningful engagement with food and/or drink o Eating with care-givers (Charras)
o Family style meals for people with dementia, enhanced further by staff training (Altus)
o Extensive staff education and support (Mamhidir)
o Facilitated breakfast club with supported involvement in preparing, conversing, eating and clearing up (San Pietro)
o Multisensory exercise (focussed on attention, flexibility, aerobic exercise, strength training, relaxation & breathing techniques, Hayn)
Quality of life o Reminiscence cooking sessions (Huang 2009)
o Appropriate, particularly familiar, music during meals (Thomas, Ragneskog)
o Tailored nutritional training to people with AD and their spouses (Suominen 2013)
Supporting eating independence o Directed verbal prompts and positive reinforcement, systematic prompting, cueing and behavioural guidance (Coyne, Van Ort)
o Spaced retrieval (Lin 2010)
o Montessori activities (Lin 2010, 2011)
o Adapted tai-chi (Dechamps 2010)
o Cognition action (light to moderate intensity seated exercises, Dechamps 2010)
Quantity, quality or adequacy of food or fluid intake o Bulk food service (rather than pre-plated or tray service, Desai, Shatenstein)
o Pop music during meals (Ragneskog)
o Some lighting and contrast interventions to improve visual cues (Brush 2002, Dunne)
o Encouragement of eating through gentle touch (Eaton)
o Physical activity to familiar music (Moore)
o High intensity exercise (FICSIT)
  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