Glob J Emerg Med | Volume 2, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner! An Empirical Approach to Measuring Palatability and Satisfaction with Emergency Department Turkey Sandwiches

Toomey D1, Goldfine CE1, Erickson TB1,2 and Chai PR1,3,4,5*

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA 2Harvard Humanitarian Institute, USA 3Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, USA 4The Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 5The Fenway Institute, USA

*Correspondance to: Peter R Chai 

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Introduction: Despite their popularity in many EDs, little is known regarding perceptions of turkey sandwiches among patients. Given the importance of turkey sandwiches as a form of nutrition provided in EDs, we sought to quantify the composition and taste of ED turkey sandwiches through a quantitative assessment of turkey sandwiches by ED staff. Methods: This was a blinded observational study performed at a tertiary, urban academic medical center in Boston, MA. We collected ED turkey sandwiches up to 48 hours prior to study days from 4 emergency departments in the Boston area (2 community hospitals and 2 academic medical centers). We enrolled ED physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and staff who were exposed to four sandwiches in a random fashion. Participants were asked to assess sandwiches on a Likert scale of 1 to 5 on a variety of factors including, nutritional value “goodness”, smell “olfactory”, texture “bite”, ingredient distribution “balance”, appearance “look”, and flavor “edibility” to produce a composite score for sandwich quality (GOBBLE score). Next, participants were asked standardized questions surrounding suitability for consumption and nutrition on a 10 point Likert scale. We calculated mean scores and measured differences using t-tests. Results: We enrolled 22 participants over the study period. Twenty-one participants completed all measures. GOBBLE scores were calculated and averaged for sandwiches. A One-way ANOVA test was performed to measure statistically significant differences between mean GOBBLE scores (p<0.05) with a post hoc Tukey HSD procedure used to assess for statistically significant difference for pairwise comparison. A significant difference (p=0.009) was noted between the 4 sandwiches being compared, with a single site outperforming the others. Aggregating for academic and community sites demonstrated no statistically significant difference (p=0.08). Sandwiches in general were not considered healthy or palatable by study subjects. Conclusion: Despite out-performance by a single ED, there is no significant difference in the quality of sandwiches provided to patients in EDs between academic and community hospitals. ED turkey sandwiches do not appear to be food items that are viewed as healthy or recommended to patients by ED staff who participated in this study.


Toomey D, Goldfine CE, Erickson TB, Chai PR. Winner Winner Turkey Dinner! An Empirical Approach to Measuring Palatability and Satisfaction with Emergency Department Turkey Sandwiches. Glob J Emerg Med. 2022; 2(1): 1010..

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