Social Interactions at Mealtime: An Exploratory Study & Development of an Assessment Tool

A-HA Team Lead

Keller, H (Principal Investigator)


Curle, L
Brooke, C
Ridgeway, N
McLeod, J

Project Date

2010 – 2012

Research suggests that the social environment surrounding mealtimes is important to quality of life and food intake for older adults living in long term care homes. To date, little attention has been paid to measuring the social interaction that occurs at the table. The research team conducted participant observations to identify what types of social interaction occurred, and the factors that promoted or discouraged it among tablemates.

In follow-up to this exploratory study, the team has developed a draft observational tool that can be used in retirement/long-term care homes to track social interactions and measure changes after interventions designed to promote positive social experiences at meal time.

The tool is available from H. Keller for use in research.


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