Perception and Acceptance of Hospital Meals Among Inpatients in a Tertiary Hospital in Nigeria

Saturday, 29 July 2017: 9:30 AM

Funmilola Adenike Faremi, MSc (Nsg), BNSc1
Omowumi R. Salau, MSc (Nsg), BNSc1
Adeyinka T. Ajayi, BNSc2
(1)Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile-Ife,Osun State,Nigeria, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
(2)Department of Clinical Nursing Practice, Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital Complex Ile-Ife,Nigeria, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


Hospital food and nutrition services play an important role in patient recovery and well-being. It can also influence patients’ satisfaction with their overall hospital experience. Previous studies showed that hospital food services remain to be a widespread problem all over the world. With literature search, there is dearth of studies on patients’ satisfaction with food services in health care facilities in the country, hence the need to assess patients’ perception and acceptance of hospital meals in order to provide insights on areas of focus for the achievement of quality improvement in hospital food and catering services from the perspective of the consumers, thus promoting their health.

Methods:  A descriptive cross-sectional study was adopted for the study. A multistage sampling technique was employed to select 220 adult in-patients across five (5) sections or service areas in the hospital. Children and patients below the age of 18 years were excluded from the study. Also, due to the unstable nature and peculiarity of patients, the Adult and Children Accident and Emergency Units and the Mental Health ward were also excluded from this research study. A self-administered questionnaire pilot tested to ensure validity and reliability (Cronbach Alpha = 0.798) was used to collect data. Data was analyzed using percentages, mean, standard deviation, multiple regression and chi square using SPSS version 20


There was 70.6% females and 29.4% males in the study with a mean age of 45±15.6. Majority of the patients (90.5%) had spent between 1-15 days on current admission. More than half, (56.2%) were on special diet while 73.1% relied only on hospital food since admission. Overall, 55.7% had good perception of hospital meal, while 8.5% had poor perception. However, only 4% had high-level acceptance of hospital meal while 59.7% had low level-acceptance. No significant relationship was observed between selected socio-demographic factors (age, gender, educational level and average monthly income) and their perception of hospital meals (p = 0.301). However, significant association was found between the types of diet and their level of acceptance of hospital meals (p = 0.005).


Patients on hospital admission have high expectations of the meals supplied from the hospital kitchen, hence the need for nurses to act as adequate advocates in this matter thus aiding patient quick recovery.