Hospitality through negotiations: The performing of everyday meal activities among nursing staff and meal hosts. A qualitative study

Ann Sofie Jonsson, Maria Nyberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Mealtimes are an important part of the hospital stay for patients and have significance for the patients' recovery and treatment as well as for their overall experience of their hospital stay. However, more knowledge is needed to understand the activities performed for the benefit of the patients and what the staff experience and describe to be meaningful or challenging when serving patients their meals. This study investigates the notion of hospitality in understanding the everyday activity of serving meals to older adult patients. The study is based on 20 semi-structured interviews with assistant nurses, registered nurses, and meal hosts at two hospitals in Sweden. Through thematic analysis, four themes were identified that capture the everyday activities of serving meals to older adult patients from the staff's perspectives: Managing the patient's best interest, Managing time, Managing the food service frame and Managing the meal environment. The findings suggest that hospitality is performed when these are managed, and that hospitality therefore is performed in negotiation with and within the given organisational frames in the hospitals. When these frames are stretched, the staff do more than is expected and carry out a caring and knowing performance that complements the already person-centred care approach in place. Essentially, the staff find that when having time, but also when taking time with the patients during the mealtime, they are able to increase the patients' food intake and create positive mealtime moments, hence emphasising the need for studying welcoming organisational structures that can enable the staff to perform hospitable mealtimes for the older adult patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100478
JournalInternational Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
Publication statusPublished - 2022-Mar

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Nutrition and Dietetics (30304)


  • Hospital
  • Hospitality
  • Meal host
  • Mealtime
  • Nursing staff
  • Older adult patients
  • Person-centred care


Dive into the research topics of 'Hospitality through negotiations: The performing of everyday meal activities among nursing staff and meal hosts. A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this