Document Type: Research Paper
Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: Food quality in hospitals plays a key role in the integrated program for the improvement of nutritional care in hospitals. Providing appropriate nutrition programs in the hospital setting is particularly challenging due to the diverse dietary needs of patients. The present study aimed to determine the influential factors in the satisfaction of patients with the food service in the hospitals in Mashhad, Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 265 patients in five wards of two major teaching hospitals affiliated to Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Mashhad, Iran. Data were collected using a researcher-made questionnaire about hospital meals upon the discharge of the patients. The first assessment was conducted in Ghaem Hospital in 2010, and the next evaluation was performed in Ghaem Hospital and Imam Reza Hospital in 2016. The median length of hospital stay in the patients admitted in Ghaem Hospital and Imam Reza Hospital was 3.4 days. The questionnaire was completed by dieticians upon the discharge of the patients, and the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was estimated at 0.78. Results: Overall patient satisfaction with hospital food services was significantly correlated with food temperature, quantity, taste, appearance, replacement meal, and diet compatibility. The rate of patient satisfaction was 60.8%, and the quality of food services in the selected hospitals was good or excellent. Conclusion: Patient satisfaction with hospital food services plays a key role in evaluating the efficacy of the applied strategies. The results of this study could help dieticians focus on specific indicators in order to improve the food catering services and maximize patient satisfaction with hospital foods.