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Porcelain for All – a nursing home study

Kai Victor Hansen (University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway)
Christina Tølbøl Frøiland (Center for Age-Related Medicine – SESAM, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway)
Ingelin Testad (Center for Age-Related Medicine – SESAM, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway) (Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK) (University of Exeter Medical School, St Luke’s Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 13 August 2018




The Porcelain for All project was an initiative by Figgjo AS, a porcelain factory in Norway, which needed more research on different coloured porcelains. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


The study aimed to gain new knowledge about how different décor and dinner plate colours can positively influence dementia sufferer food intake and appetite. The intervention period lasted three weeks. Four days were randomly picked during that period. Each plate was photographed before and after the resident had eaten, researchers conducted observations during mealtimes. Two CurroCus® group interviews were used to collect additional empirical data. In total, 12 dementia sufferers (five females) between 65 and 85 years were observed during dinnertime.


Plates with a white well, yellow lip and red rim seemed to be preferred regarding food intake. Three main categories were noted from the observations and group interviews: mealtime dignity, porcelain design and appetite.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could incorporate well-being in people with dementia regarding food weight, testing different meal room environments, user involvement, food presentation and should include more nursing homes and residents.

Practical implications

This study only encompasses a small sample (12 residents), all diagnosed with dementia.

Social implications

Outcomes may help to prevent undernutrition among elderly people.


Combined coloured porcelain, food intake and residents with dementia is scarcely investigated.



This study was funded through the public policy system, VRI (policy instrument for regional innovation and development). The authors thank everyone at the nursing home, where the study was conducted.


Hansen, K.V., Frøiland, C.T. and Testad, I. (2018), "Porcelain for All – a nursing home study", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 31 No. 7, pp. 662-675.



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