Development of mealtime difficulty scale for older adults with dementia in long-term care facilities

Dukyoo Jung, Eunju Choi, Leeho Yoo, Hyesoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: In older patients with dementia, functional dependence on individuals affects their eating behavior, leading to difficulties with meals. In addition to individual factors, several social, cultural, and environmental factors influence mealtime difficulties in older individuals with dementia. Therefore, a measure is required to evaluate the difficulty of eating, considering the different interacting phenomena. Methods: Mealtime Difficulties Scale for older adults with Dementia (MDSD) was developed through a literature review. A pilot test was undertaken to confirm the meaning of the items and the relevance of mealtime difficulties for older patients with dementia. A panel of six experts examined the content validity of the MDSD. Convenience sampling was used to recruit direct care workers from long-term care facilities, of which 150 were recruited for exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and 208 for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results: The final version of the MDSD included 19 items, with a Cronbach’s α of 0.91. The EFA identified three factors (“functional,” “caregiving,” and “behavioral”) that account for 54.6% of the total variance. The CFA confirmed the validity of the instrument. Conclusions: Evidence to substantiate the validity and reliability of MDSD was found. While this tool has limitations in that it does not ensure convergent validity, it can be considered significant as it can assess the mealtime difficulty among older patients with dementia from different perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number518
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2020R1A2C1013713).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Aged
  • Dementia
  • Direct care worker
  • Mealtime difficulty
  • Nursing home


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