Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Phyllis M. Connolly


patient meals, patient satisfaction, postpartum


Objective: The purpose of this research study was to assess patient perspectives regarding a special Welcome Meal. The focus was on patients' feeling welcomed and important because prior research has shown that when a patient's expectations are exceeded, patient satisfaction increases. This study suggests that receiving a Welcome Meal may improve their experience on a postpartum unit. Design: Prior to discharge, each patient on the maternity unit was served a special Welcome Meal. A questionnaire was given to patients that consisted of six questions. The six questions incorporated six themes found in research literature on improving patient satisfaction. These themes included exceeding one's expectations, feeling important, feeling welcome, having a positive experience, increasing one's morale and providing good quality food. Patients/Participants: The sample consist~d of 30 postpartum patients between the ages of 20-47 whom had undergone a vaginal delivery of a live infant. Results: The highest rated question indicated that the Welcome Meal made the patients feel welcome (96.6%). The second highest rated question shows the Welcome Meal to be of good quality (96.6%). The Welcome Meal not only made the patient feel important, but also created a more pleasant hospital experience. Overall 86.6% agreed that it gave a positive experience and exceeded their expectations (90%). Conc1usion: The research indicated that the six themes found in improving patient satisfaction were also present when asked about the Welcome Meal. The limitations to the study include having a small non-random sample of 30 patients. This study suggests that having such a meal implemented on the maternity unit may have a positive impact on patient satisfaction. Future studies should provide a larger sample size. Further research is needed to correlate improved patient satisfaction and the Welcome Meal in a pre and post test design.