240467 Improving a state-wide nutrition education program for older adults using qualitative research

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:30 PM

Doris Montgomery, MS, RD , Iowa Nutrition Network, Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines, IA
Kellee McCrory, MPH , School of Social Work, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Iowa's Department of Public Health (IDPH) partnered with the Iowa Department on Aging and the Iowa Food Assistance Program to enhance the quality of nutrition education provided to low-income, older adults at congregate meal sites throughout the state of Iowa. The Chef Charles program engages meal site participants in interactive nutrition education that is based on an up-to-date monthly nutrition newsletter. An instructor guide serves as a monthly companion to the senior newsletter, by providing both meal site managers and professional educators innovative ways to teach the information provided in the newsletter. Step-by step guidance for teaching the newsletter is provided along with instructions for food sampling and physical activity demonstrations. The newsletter is colorful, and contains age-appropriate nutrition and physical activity information including simple, low-cost recipes. Word finds and puzzles are used to reinforce newsletter content. IDPH's process evaluation of the program involved qualitative research with educators, meal site managers, and program participants over two years. Educators and program managers used the qualitative process to inform program evaluators about barriers to delivery and program successes, and to discuss their specific site's demographics as well as current events related to senior nutrition in meal sites and the community. The data were shared with program managers at IDPH, who were able to respond quickly to program issues and concerns and use data to ensure they were providing a program that is responsive to the needs of seniors at congregate meal sites and to nutrition educators.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain how qualitative evaluation data can be used to enhance older adult nutrition education programs. 2. Describe the development of an effective qualitative evaluation design.

Keywords: Elderly, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the state coordinator of the Iowa Nutrition Network
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Nutrition and Aging
See more of: Aging & Public Health