PURPOSE: To develop an intervention enhancing hospitalized older adults' nutrition.
METHODS: For the first time, a mixed-methods design with data triangulation was applied according to the six-step model of Corry et al. to elaborate on a complex nursing intervention in the form of a logic model. Patients who were aged ≥80 years and hospitalized for at least 5 days were included. Sample size for quantitative practice analysis was 135 older adults, whereas 22 older inpatients participated in interviews and observations for needs analysis and generated data for key principles.
FINDINGS: The intervention "Eat Enough" encompasses nursing team culture and comprises six actionable targets to deliver needs-based support and reach required protein and energy intake for hospitalized older adults by sensitizing nurses and the interprofessional team. Facilitating nutritional intake would be supported by an advanced practice nurse who considers the medical and nursing care plan and therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: The intervention "Eat Enough" demonstrates that nurses play a key role in interprofessional teams to enhance older adults' nutrition in hospital. The pipeline model displays how the actionable targets can be achieved, and how awareness raising can influence the context-leading to raised calories and protein requirement coverages and shorter length of stay.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE: By identifying risk factors of malnutrition and strengthening nurses' responsibilities, the intervention "Eat Enough" could significantly enhance nutrition among hospitalized older adults. However, the logic model should be tested and implemented in future research.