Perceived barriers to optimum nutrition among congregate (sheltered) housing residents in the USA

Meena Mahadevan, Heather Hartwell, Charles Feldman, Emily Raines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Malnutrition, secondary to decreased food intake, is a public health problem of epidemic proportions among older adults in the United States of America (USA). Compared to community-dwelling senior citizens, congregate (sheltered) housing residents are found to be frailer, with documented deficiencies in several major and minor nutrients, and associated health complications. While studies have quantified these problems, translational research examining the perceived factors influencing their daily food habits is lacking. Design: Using a qualitative approach, this study was undertaken to further and enhance understanding of this complex, under-researched area, and to form the basis for better nutritional management of this group. Setting: Participants (n = 46) were convenience sampled from four sheltered housing settings located in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, USA. Method: Data were collected using a brief demographic questionnaire, and a focus group guide designed utilizing constructs derived from socio-ecological theory. Results: Content analysis of the transcripts identified several themes suggesting that a repertoire of individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors may serve as barriers to optimum nutritional health among residents. With an emphasis on utilizing their perspectives to explain and interpret behaviour, the qualitative approach adopted offered a perfect vehicle for shifting the focus from measuring dietary outcomes to clarifying how participants arrive at the decisions they made. Conclusion: This study is a step forward in providing the empirical foundations necessary to design a comprehensive intervention with effective strategies to motivate and encourage sheltered housing residents to make healthier food choices and improve their overall health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-490
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education Journal
Volume73
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Fingerprint

Health
Independent Living
Food
Translational Medical Research
Feeding Behavior
Focus Groups
Malnutrition
Public Health
Eating
Demography
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Congregate housing
  • health
  • nutrition
  • senior citizens
  • sheltered housing

Cite this

@article{40ef4d9ddd0543e2b76f4befb538754f,
title = "Perceived barriers to optimum nutrition among congregate (sheltered) housing residents in the USA",
abstract = "Objective: Malnutrition, secondary to decreased food intake, is a public health problem of epidemic proportions among older adults in the United States of America (USA). Compared to community-dwelling senior citizens, congregate (sheltered) housing residents are found to be frailer, with documented deficiencies in several major and minor nutrients, and associated health complications. While studies have quantified these problems, translational research examining the perceived factors influencing their daily food habits is lacking. Design: Using a qualitative approach, this study was undertaken to further and enhance understanding of this complex, under-researched area, and to form the basis for better nutritional management of this group. Setting: Participants (n = 46) were convenience sampled from four sheltered housing settings located in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, USA. Method: Data were collected using a brief demographic questionnaire, and a focus group guide designed utilizing constructs derived from socio-ecological theory. Results: Content analysis of the transcripts identified several themes suggesting that a repertoire of individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors may serve as barriers to optimum nutritional health among residents. With an emphasis on utilizing their perspectives to explain and interpret behaviour, the qualitative approach adopted offered a perfect vehicle for shifting the focus from measuring dietary outcomes to clarifying how participants arrive at the decisions they made. Conclusion: This study is a step forward in providing the empirical foundations necessary to design a comprehensive intervention with effective strategies to motivate and encourage sheltered housing residents to make healthier food choices and improve their overall health.",
keywords = "Congregate housing, health, nutrition, senior citizens, sheltered housing",
author = "Meena Mahadevan and Heather Hartwell and Charles Feldman and Emily Raines",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0017896913501667",
language = "English",
volume = "73",
pages = "477--490",
journal = "Health Education Journal",
issn = "0017-8969",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

Perceived barriers to optimum nutrition among congregate (sheltered) housing residents in the USA. / Mahadevan, Meena; Hartwell, Heather; Feldman, Charles; Raines, Emily.

In: Health Education Journal, Vol. 73, No. 4, 01.01.2014, p. 477-490.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Perceived barriers to optimum nutrition among congregate (sheltered) housing residents in the USA

AU - Mahadevan, Meena

AU - Hartwell, Heather

AU - Feldman, Charles

AU - Raines, Emily

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Objective: Malnutrition, secondary to decreased food intake, is a public health problem of epidemic proportions among older adults in the United States of America (USA). Compared to community-dwelling senior citizens, congregate (sheltered) housing residents are found to be frailer, with documented deficiencies in several major and minor nutrients, and associated health complications. While studies have quantified these problems, translational research examining the perceived factors influencing their daily food habits is lacking. Design: Using a qualitative approach, this study was undertaken to further and enhance understanding of this complex, under-researched area, and to form the basis for better nutritional management of this group. Setting: Participants (n = 46) were convenience sampled from four sheltered housing settings located in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, USA. Method: Data were collected using a brief demographic questionnaire, and a focus group guide designed utilizing constructs derived from socio-ecological theory. Results: Content analysis of the transcripts identified several themes suggesting that a repertoire of individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors may serve as barriers to optimum nutritional health among residents. With an emphasis on utilizing their perspectives to explain and interpret behaviour, the qualitative approach adopted offered a perfect vehicle for shifting the focus from measuring dietary outcomes to clarifying how participants arrive at the decisions they made. Conclusion: This study is a step forward in providing the empirical foundations necessary to design a comprehensive intervention with effective strategies to motivate and encourage sheltered housing residents to make healthier food choices and improve their overall health.

AB - Objective: Malnutrition, secondary to decreased food intake, is a public health problem of epidemic proportions among older adults in the United States of America (USA). Compared to community-dwelling senior citizens, congregate (sheltered) housing residents are found to be frailer, with documented deficiencies in several major and minor nutrients, and associated health complications. While studies have quantified these problems, translational research examining the perceived factors influencing their daily food habits is lacking. Design: Using a qualitative approach, this study was undertaken to further and enhance understanding of this complex, under-researched area, and to form the basis for better nutritional management of this group. Setting: Participants (n = 46) were convenience sampled from four sheltered housing settings located in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, USA. Method: Data were collected using a brief demographic questionnaire, and a focus group guide designed utilizing constructs derived from socio-ecological theory. Results: Content analysis of the transcripts identified several themes suggesting that a repertoire of individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors may serve as barriers to optimum nutritional health among residents. With an emphasis on utilizing their perspectives to explain and interpret behaviour, the qualitative approach adopted offered a perfect vehicle for shifting the focus from measuring dietary outcomes to clarifying how participants arrive at the decisions they made. Conclusion: This study is a step forward in providing the empirical foundations necessary to design a comprehensive intervention with effective strategies to motivate and encourage sheltered housing residents to make healthier food choices and improve their overall health.

KW - Congregate housing

KW - health

KW - nutrition

KW - senior citizens

KW - sheltered housing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84902377993&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0017896913501667

DO - 10.1177/0017896913501667

M3 - Article

VL - 73

SP - 477

EP - 490

JO - Health Education Journal

JF - Health Education Journal

SN - 0017-8969

IS - 4

ER -