Innovative rehabilitating meal service programs for old people living at home: A randomized controlled pilot study

Anette Due, Anne Marie Beck, Camilla Banke Birk, Lise Justesen, Maj Majgaard, Mette Lei, Sara Koldkær Langsted S, Tilde Skjærlund Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To test the feasibility of a pilot study for a future definitive trial investigating the effect of different meal service programs for old people living at home. Design: An 8-week randomized controlled trial was performed. Setting: Three municipalities in the Nordic country, Denmark. Subjects: Danish participants (≥65y) with reduced functionality. Intervention: Three different meal service programs 1) 24-h meals service, 2) Protein-rich meal service, and 3) Rehabilitation meal service, were developed and compared to standard care. Main Measures: The main outcome was study feasibility. Dietary intake, anthropometry, physical function, quality of life, readmissions and adverse events were also evaluated. Comparisons between participants receiving a meal service program and standard care were done by one-way ANOVA, chi-square test and Fishers exact test Results: A total of 592 subjects were assessed for eligibility and 13% (76/592) were recruited. Final analysis included 75% (57/76) of participants. The outcome measures seemed acceptable and feasible though eligibility, inclusion, and completion of the intervention were lower than expected. The 24-h meal service program managed to significantly increase the intake of protein (p = 0.049) and energy (p = 0.038) compared to the control group where reductions were seen. No other significant differences were found. Conclusions: The pilot study was feasible and several benefits for completers were seen. However, in a future definitive trial, inclusion criteria should be wider, more effort should be put on the time, training and focus of the personal in close contact to the older subjects and the intervention should be less comprehensive and more flexible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)926-939
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • health, nutrition and quality of life
  • physical function
  • dietary intake
  • nutrition
  • quality of life


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