Me at Mealtimes study – patient experiences of mealtimes on inpatient mental health wards (working age adults)


Adults with mental health conditions are known to have difficulties with swallowing. Choking is more common for people with mental illness but this is poorly understood. Currently research has focussed on medical aspects of swallowing difficulty – the wider impact on patients and their caregivers has not been considered.

This project interviewed patients, ward staff and speech and language therapists (SLTs) to find out about their experiences of inpatient mealtimes. (Patients and carers suggested questions and discussed the responses). Many participants found mealtimes a stressful and impersonal event. Patients told us about loss of independence and missing positive social aspects, staff talked about the restricting pressures of work, and SLTs described the importance of understanding individual preferences, cultures and unrecognised swallowing problems.

This project will be shared locally and wider to prompt discussion and review around hospital mealtimes. Mealtimes can be positive experiences if patients’ concerns are understood and resolved.


Currently Underway

Team Contact:

Susan Guthrie


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