A quantitative study into public perceptions and experiences of hospital food


  • Marwan Tork


Nutrition, Hospital Food, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience


Background: It is important to reduce the length of time people stay in hospital for both the patient and the hospital especially in this unprecedented time. Food plays an important part in the healing process, it’s important to eat well in order to heal well. Some types of hospital malnutrition, especially in vulnerable people, has a negative effect on many clinically significant outcomes which increase health expenditure, such as longer stay in hospital, higher risks of infection, wounds taking longer to heal and increasing mortality rate in hospitals. Hospital food is a complex subject with many facets outside of the food itself such as food safety and food chain management. Poor management can of these elements can lead to additional issues for both the patients and government organisations through incidents such as food borne outbreaks. Trying to achieve the ultimate purpose of public health, research will consider if hospital food helps or hinders this process. The aim is to explore public experiences and perceptions (in the UK and Egypt) of hospital food and its role in the healing process.

Methods: The methodology is a quantitative study, collecting data by an online questionnaire posted on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Results: The study concluded that, most of the participants are satisfied by the food offered and its quality. However 82% of respondents reported bringing food from outside the hospitals. Balanced hospital food menus that contain protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals were perceived to positively impact on participants’ healing process and patient satisfaction. Moreover, 88% that the food they eat is the most important factor in healing.

Conclusion: The researcher recommends that it is possible to re-establish the hospital as a space for communal eating by strategically integrating and enabling hospitality into hospital meal practices. Furthermore, family and friends should have a significant role in this process.