Factors that Affect Implementing the MIND Diet in the Acute Care Setting to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

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Virginia Tech

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating and life-altering diagnosis that continues to rise each year, as our population continues to live longer. While there is currently no proven cure for the disease, there are proactive measures that can be taken to delay or prevent onset of the disease. The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a compilation of foods that work synergistically to promote the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The specific amount and types of foods in this diet promote the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, thus preventing or delaying onset of AD. While there is evidence to support the use of the MIND diet as a long-term approach to prevent AD, this diet is currently not being administered in healthcare settings in the United States. This study explores the factors affecting implementing the MIND diet in an acute care setting.

Working within the transtheoretical model of behavior change, a foodservice organization is examined in regard to their readiness to change and willingness to adopt this diet into their facilities. Their willingness to adopt the MIND diet was determined by a series of interviews held via email, phone call, and in person. The organization deemed the MIND diet inappropriate for the acute care setting because of the short length of stay of patients, budgetary restraints, and patient preferences. While the MIND diet was deemed inappropriate for effective use in this environment, there are multiple other settings that should be explored in future research. The MIND diet is most beneficial when adhered to for a long duration, therefore, introducing the diet in a setting where the population is exposed for longer be most beneficial. Example of these settings include daycares, schools, long-term care facilities, senior living centers, or assisted living facilities.