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Meal Delivery Programs for Community Seniors: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness

Last updated: January 22, 2019
Project Number: RC1060-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of meal delivery nutrition programs for older adults living in the community?

Key Message

One randomized controlled trial (RCT) and two non-randomized studies were identified regarding the clinical effectiveness of meal delivery nutrition programs for community-dwelling older adults. Low quality evidence from one RCT and one single-arm non-randomized study showed that meal delivery nutrition programs may improve loneliness among older adults. The same single-arm study showed a positive association between meal delivery nutrition programs and self-reported well-being. Frequency of meal delivery does not appear to be a factor. Low quality evidence from one controlled non-randomized study showed that a meal delivery nutrition program was not associated with perceived improvement in quality of life among community-dwelling older adults. No evidence regarding independence or other mental health or psychosocial outcomes was identified.