Social networks and their influences on nutrient intake, nutritional status and physical function in community-dwelling ethnically diverse older adults: a mixed-methods longitudinal study.

Asamane, Evans A, Greig, Carolyn A and Thompson, Janice L (2020) Social networks and their influences on nutrient intake, nutritional status and physical function in community-dwelling ethnically diverse older adults: a mixed-methods longitudinal study. BMC public health, 20 (1). p. 1011. ISSN 1471-2458. Available through UHB Open Athens

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

The United Kingdom population is ageing and becoming increasingly diverse; thus, it is vital to develop and implement interventions supporting this population shift. Social networks (SN) significantly impact health outcomes in later life, however relatively little is known about SN of community-dwelling ethnically diverse older adults. This study aimed to: 1) profile SN and changes in SN in this population over 8 months; 2) examine associations between SN, dietary intake, nutritional status, and physical function.

METHODS

SN were assessed using the Wenger Practitioner Assessment of Network Type. Energy and nutrient intakes were measured using multiple-pass 24-h recalls. The Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF) assessed nutritional status. Physical function was measured using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and handgrip strength. Data were collected at baseline and 8-months. Correlation and regression analyses examined relationships between SN, physical function, nutrient intake and nutritional status. Semi-structured interviews were conducted at baseline (n = 92) and follow-up (n = 81) to identify potential influences of SN. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using directed content analysis.

RESULTS

Quantitative data were obtained from 100 participants at baseline and 81 at follow-up. Mean (SD) age was 70.8 (8.1) years (59% male), comprising African/Caribbean (60%), South Asian (34%), and other ethnicities (6%). Five SN typologies were identified under two broad areas: integrated-SN consisting of locally integrated (44%) and wider community (8%); and non-integrated-SN consisting of family dependent (25%), local self-contained (17%), and private restricted (6%). At follow-up, 37% remained in non-integrated networks, 19% transitioned to non-integrated networks, 11% transitioned to, and 33% remained in, integrated networks. Participants within integrated networks at baseline had higher SPPB scores at follow-up. Compared to the private restricted, local self-contained SN significantly predicted zinc, riboflavin and vitamin B6 intakes. Participants remaining in, or transitioning to, non-integrated networks had low MNA-SF scores. Qualitative findings indicate that participants with reductions in SN perceived it as causing poorer physical function and eating behaviours.

CONCLUSION

In the present study, integrated SN were associated with higher physical function and nutritional status at 8-month's follow-up. These results can inform the design of interventions to improve social networks, physical function and healthy nutrition within this population.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available through UHB Open Athens
Subjects: W Public health. Health statistics. Occupational health. Health education
WD Diseases and disorders of systemic, metabolic or environmental origin > WD10 Diet and nutrition
Divisions: Emergency Services > Therapies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Beth Connors
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2020 13:49
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2020 13:49
URI: http://www.repository.uhblibrary.co.uk/id/eprint/3675

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