Feasibility trial of a multicomponent hydration care intervention for people living with dementia in care homes: ThinkDrink

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Abstract

Background and aim: People with dementia, and particularly those living in care homes are at risk of suboptimal hydration and dehydration. Individual, contextual and staffing factors affect drinking behaviour in this population, hence multicomponent hydration care interventions have been promoted. The aim was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a multicomponent Think Drink intervention for supporting hydration for people living with dementia in English care homes.

Methods: A cluster randomised controlled feasibility study compared 6 intervention care homes and 5 control homes, over 3-months. Data (fluid intake; admission to hospital/dehydration; falls; laxative use; urinary tract infection and upper respiratory tract infection) was collected from 50 residents living with dementia in the intervention group and 37 control group pre and post intervention. Post intervention, 45 care home staff took part in 9 individual and 17 small group interviews.

Results: Think Drink was feasible and acceptable to participating care home staff. The findings highlighted how Think Drink changed staff knowledge of hydration requirements and new hydration practices were implemented in care homes. No significant positive change in fluid intake was found in the intervention group in terms of mean and median fluid intake in previous seven days, and proportion of population achieving an intake greater than 1,600mls per day. This could be attributed to improvement in recording fluid intake following the intervention.

Conclusions: Whilst Think Drink is acceptable to care home staff further research is required to address methodological issues in assessing efficacy in supporting fluid intake.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nutrition Open Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 May 2024

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