Noraida Omar1, Michelle Gibbs2 and Kathryn Hart2
1Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Nutritional sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom
Food is an essential component of quality of life. Unpalatable diets cause poor food and fluid intakes ending in weight loss and poor health status. This study aims to assess satisfaction with their food-related life (SWFL) among older adults across care settings and by malnutrition risk status.
Data was collected using SWFL questionnaire and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) via face-to-face interview among older adults aged 75 years and older in three care settings in Klang Valley; free-living, care homes, Hospital Sungai Buloh using purposive sampling. The SWFL assesses self-reported quality of life related to food procurement, preparation and consumption whilst not assessing other quality of life domains.
Results & Discussion
Total 75 older adults recruited in this study. The care home subjects were the most satisfied (with the highest total SWFL scores, mean score 25.4 [SD 4.74]) while the hospital subjects were the least satisfied (mean total SWFL score 22.64 [SD 8.21]). However, there was no significant difference in total SWFL score, between care settings (F=1.224, p=0.300) and between genders (t=1.514, p=0.134). There was a significant difference in total SWFL score between three malnutrition risk status groups (F=34.694, p<0.0005) with post hoc test showing the mean was significantly different between each other. This findings can be explained by those who were in better physical health were more satisfied with their food related life. Those subjects who scored higher on the MNA would be expected to be able to participate more fully in cooking and shopping and have a more varied diet which could increase satisfaction.
This study highlighted the role of SWFL in identifying vulnerable groups within older population and address their food-related concerns and problems. Therefore, initiatives need to be taken to improve SWFL as a strategy in improving nutritional status among older adults.