5121.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #1732

Community-Based Screening for Nutritional and Functional Risk Among Rural Older Adults

Joseph R. Sharkey, MPH, RD and Pamela S. Haines, DrPH, RD. School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#7400, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, 919.942.2882, aggie1@mindspring.com

Abstract Text Objectives: While several investigators have identified methods for recruitment of older adults into research studies, relatively little attention has focused on methods that community-based service providers can use to identify nutritional and functional risk among non-participants. This study evaluates the feasibility of a telephone-administered nutritional and functional risk screen of rural older adults. Methods: Mailed personalized letter followed by telephone contact and contemporaneous interview of a random sample, ages 60+, selected from Voter Registration list. The 67-question interview included General Health, Eating Habits, Living Environment, and Functional Status. Results: 152 (6% black) completed interviews, which is 76% of those contacted. 12% reported an unintentional weight loss, 44% taking ³ 3 prescription medications/day, 66% with ³ 2 chronic conditions, and 49% depressed. 19% live alone and 17% were concerned with home security. 33% reported difficulty with at least 1 ADL/IADL and 14% with at least 3. Matching questions with NSI Checklist, 47% were Moderate/High Nutritional Risk. Of potential respondents, 45% lacked an operating telephone, with blacks more likely than whites. Conclusions: Affirms the use of telephone-administered comprehensive screening to determine nutritional and functional risk among older adults residing in geographically dispersed rural areas. Identifies large proportion of randomly selected older adults to be potentially at-risk for poor nutritional and functional status. Exploration of alternative methods is needed to target individuals without a telephone.

Learning Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility of conducting comprehensive telephone screening of older adults who live in rural areas

Keywords: Nutrition, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA