The risk of malnutrition, depression, and the perceived health status of older adults

College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Jongro-Gu, Seoul, Korea.
Taehan Kanho Hakhoe chi 11/2007; 37(6):941-8.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk of malnutrition and its relationship with depression and perceived health status.
A total number of 154 elderly over 60 years participated in the study through a community elderly center. The risk of malnutrition was measured by NSI (Nutritional Screening Initiative), depression by CES-D, and health status by a self-rated Likert scale.
About one fourth (22.7%) of the subjects had a high risk, and 31.2% had a moderate risk of getting malnutrition. Regarding depression, 34.4% (53 elderly) of the subjects had a high risk. Overall health status had a mean of 3.46 within the range of 1 to 5. In relation to demographic factors, female elderly (chi2=6.68, p= .04), aged younger than 75 years old (chi2=8.60, p= .01), and having co-morbidity (F=9.81, p= .001) were significantly related to a high risk of malnutrition. Having a higher depression score, higher number of co-morbidity, and lower perceived health status were significantly related to a higher risk of becoming malnourished.
The elderly's risk of getting malnutrition was significantly related to their depression and perceived health status. With these findings nursing interventions focusing on these factors should be developed in order to improve the elderly's multidimensional well-being.

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