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A Shared Mealtime Approach to Improving Social and Nutritional Functioning Among Older Adults Living Alone: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

McHugh, Joanna E., Lee, Olga, Aspell, Niamh, Lawlor, Brian A. and Brennan, Sabrina (2015) A Shared Mealtime Approach to Improving Social and Nutritional Functioning Among Older Adults Living Alone: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 4 (2).

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Abstract

Background: Older adults living alone are at increased risk of malnutrition as well as social isolation. Previous research has evaluated psychosocial interventions aimed at improving social support for older adults living alone. One meta-analysis in particular has suggested that multimodal psychosocial interventions are more effective than unimodal interventions. As such, it may be more effective to deliver an intervention which combines nutritional and social support together. Consequently, we designed the RelAte intervention, which focuses on shared mealtimes as a source of combined social and nutritional support for older adults living alone who are at risk of social isolation.

Objective: The objective of the RelAte trial was to evaluate the impact of such an intervention on energy intake, anthropometric measurements, and nutritional social cognitive variables among older adults living alone in the community.

Methods: There are 100 participants that will be recruited and randomized to either the treatment (n=50) or the control group. The treatment group will receive a visit from a trained peer volunteer once weekly for a period of 8 weeks. Outcomes of interest include: energy intake, social cognitive factors related to diet, abdominal circumference, body mass index, psychosocial well-being, frailty, nutritional status, and health utilities. Outcomes will be obtained at baseline, immediately postintervention (8 weeks after baseline), 12-week follow-up, and 26-week follow-up by assessors blinded to participants’ randomized assignment.

Results: The Relate trial is currently active. We are currently at data analysis stage. The study started in June 2013 and will run until June 2015.

Conclusions: Results from this study will primarily describe the effectiveness of a shared mealtime intervention for older adults living alone in terms of their dietary well-being, physical health, and psychosocial well-being.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognition
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Welfare of older people
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Related URLs:
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 11:31
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2015 11:31
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/1981

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