Faculty Research: Melissa Batchelor
Ph.D., RN-BC, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN
Director, Center for Aging, Health and Humanities
Associate Professor (Tenured)
What research are you working on now?
I am working on a study that will fill two gaps in my program of research: (1) physical assessment of resident neuropathological impairment compared to existing administrative data, and (2) the impact of NOSH (delivered by Research Assistants) compared to usual care (delivered by NH staff) on resident meal intake.
Why is this work important?
The ability to eat independently is the last activity of daily living impacted by the progression of neuropathological impairments in dementia including varying degrees of sensory, cognitive, and functional impairments. These impairments lead to increased reliance on NH staff to provide support to maintain food intake and can result in unintended excess disability. There is sparse research focused on feeding assistance strategies that adapt care to match fluctuations in resident ability, providing support while promoting resident self-feeding ability.
What are the potential policy implications of your work?
Nurses Optimizing Supportive Handfeeding (NOSH) is an innovative adaptive feeding assistance strategy that tailors to resident ability. A tailored, adaptive feeding assistance strategy has the potential to prevent unintended accelerated disability, improve quality of life and significantly reduce healthcare costs.