Asian / Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Corresponding Author

Reiko Sakashita


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a life-enhancement program designed to focus on dining conditions in welfare facilities for seniors living in Japan. Effectiveness was specifically evaluated based on whether improvements were achieved in (1) nutritional status, (2) oral health, (3) frequency of fever, and (4) vitality of appetite across three sites. As part of a comprehensive-care initiative that began with dining support, the program consisted of two main components: (1) a 3-month intensive program comprised of (a) collective experiential learning for residents and staff (including nutritionists, nurses, and physiotherapists) and (b) a tailor-made individual program for residents followed by (2) a 3-month continuation program. Participants included 168 individuals (31 males and 137 females) from a total of three facilities (average age was 85.9 [60–104] years). Results showed that the intensive program significantly improved nutritional status (e.g., BMI, caloric intake, and water intake; P < 0.000–0.005) and tongue movement (P < 0.000) while significantly reducing dental-plaque and tongue-coating indices (P < 0.000). Significant improvements were also achieved for degree of appetite and vitality indices (P < 0.000–0.001). However, incidences of fever were not reduced. These findings indicate that the program effectively improved nutritional status, oral health, vitality, and appetite. However, these effects did not sufficiently remain once the program was finished, thus suggesting the need for a continuous intervention.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest concerning the research, authorship, or publication of this article.


This research was funded by a Grant-in- Aid for Scientific Research between 2012 and 2014 (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B)) (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, KAKENHI, Grant Number JP24390511, PI: Reiko Sakashita).