Nutrition and cooking skills program with older adults with chronic illness living in subsidized housing

Blake Quinn, Grace Hellier & Erica Jackson
Master of Occupational Therapy
Advisor: Rachelle Dorne OTR/L, Ed. D, CAPS

The purpose of this poster presentation is to share the effects of a six-week experimental program on development of meal preparation and cooking skills among older adults living in subsidized housing. This research project compared a 6-week small group training program, adapted from The Learning Kitchen -- Hunger Free Vermont, an evidence-based nutrition education and cooking program specifically developed for low-income populations, with a control group of social meal activity without any meal preparation intervention. The mixed-method, pre-test and post-test experimental design included ratings of observed meal preparation performance using an IADL task of the Home Version of the Performance Assessment of Self-care Skills (PASS), a Likert survey (Cooking and Provisioning Scale). The researchers added qualitative questions to the survey to better understand perspectives of program participants about the barriers to healthy eating and meal preparation routines, including context, environment, and chronic health conditions. This community based intervention will advance practitioners' understanding of environmental and contextual influence on meal preparation skills. Participants in this poster presentation will be able to better understand the components and outcomes of an occupation- and community-based meal preparation and cooking group. This project contributes to the existing evidence surrounding evidence based interventions and evaluations involving meal preparation and cooking skills in the field of occupational therapy. Through this presentation, participants will gain knowledge about how to implement quantitative methods of evaluation with clients.


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