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ERIC Number: EJ797374
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0016-9013
A Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Under-Eating in Homebound Older Adults: The Importance of Social Factors
Locher, Julie L.; Ritchie, Christine S.; Robinson, Caroline O.; Roth, David L.; West, Delia Smith; Burgio, Kathryn L.
Gerontologist, v48 n2 p223-234 Apr 2008
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify relationships between medical, functional, economic, oral health, social, religious, and psychological factors and under-eating in homebound older adults. The focus of the study was on identifying potentially modifiable factors amenable to social and behavioral interventions. Design and Methods: A total of 230 homebound older adults who were currently receiving home health services participated in interviews in their homes using a questionnaire to assess eating behaviors and factors that could possibly affect those eating behaviors. Interviewers measured height and weight, and participants completed three 24-hr dietary recalls. Results: The mean age of participants was 79.1 years. The sample comprised 78% women and 38% African Americans. We found that 70% of participants were "under-eating," defined as not consuming enough calories to maintain their current body weight. Participants who were at higher risk of under-eating included men, those receiving either infrequent care or very frequent care by a caregiver, those who had been hospitalized prior to receipt of home health services, and those with a higher body mass index. Implications: Findings from the study have implications for both practice and policy. Experts must develop evidence-based interventions targeted at under-eating in this particularly vulnerable and growing population of homebound older adults. This study provides an initial foundation for the development of targeted evidence-based behavioral nutritional interventions that are noninvasive and cost effective.
Gerontological Society of America. 1030 15th Street NW Suite 250, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-842-1275; Fax: 202-842-1150; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A