Date of Award

4-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Department

College of Nursing

Abstract

Purpose: Low-income adults often have nutrition-related health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, and others. Factors identified as contributing to these issues are lack of nutrition education and lack of access to quality, healthy food choices. The purpose of this project was to improve nutrition for health promotion in a group of vulnerable adults in an urban setting, and answer questions of (a) Will a program of targeted nutrition education, with advocacy for quality food, be associated with increased knowledge and dietary behavior change? (b) Will such an intervention result in increased self-efficacy for food choices and their impact on health? Participants: Twenty low-income adult residents of a government-subsidized housing unit participated. These individuals were over age 62, and or had mental and/or physical disabilities. Many were obese, diabetic, and/or hypertensive. All had limited access to healthy food. Methods and Materials: An 8-session nutrition/health promotion educational program was presented collaboratively with community nutrition educators. It included group discussion, recipes, food tasting, and overcoming barriers to good nutrition. Completed data for 17 participants included: demographic information, pre-test and post-test assessment of nutrition knowledge, behavior, and self-efficacy, and post-session open- ended questions regarding new learning and intended changes after each session. Community advocacy and leadership for access to nutritious food accompanied the intervention. Analysis: Descriptive statistics, n Signed Rank tests were used and a 0.1 level of significance was chosen due to small sample size. Results: Data analysis demonstrated a modest positive change from pre-test to post-test in knowledge for four participants. Results also suggest that a significant improvement in mean nutrition self-efficacy and behavior scores was associated with this intervention. Conclusion: Addressing the needs of vulnerable adult groups with a nursing intervention for health promotion involving nutrition education, advocacy, and leadership activities to improve food access is an effective and appropriate project for a DNP student.

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