Menu 1 - Paper 6

Menu, Journal of Food and Hospitality Research
Volume 1, 2012, Pages 55- 66

Differences between Patients and Staff’s Perception of Food Provision in Malaysian Public Hospitals

Reena Vijayakumaran
University of Surrey


Abstract: Patient’s nutritional needs are often not met simply because the foodservice system does not cater appropriately (Incalzi et al., 1996; Gall, 1998; Barton et al., 2000; Almdal et al., 2003). Realising the impact of food provision, this study was conducted to understand food provision in Malaysian public hospitals. Five groups were interviewed face-to-face (total=38 respondents; 18 patients and 20 staff). Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data was analysed using content analysis to identify factors associated with food consumption. Study established an in-depth understanding of how hospital foodservice works and its effects on patients’ preferences and food consumption. Patients and staff represented different perspectives with conflicting expectations, although there were some elements which both groups agreed on. Hospital food was signified as a source of enjoyment, therefore patients expected alteration on various aspects of hospital food provision. However, staff failed to identify factors that contributed towards patients’ conceptualisation of hospital food, which resulted in poor acceptance of hospital food.

Keywords: hospital food, food consumption, staff, patients, preferences

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