Perceived food autonomy : measurement and relationships with food satisfaction among assisted living residents Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rr172097s

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  • The purpose of this exploratory study was to develop an instrument to measure perceived food autonomy (PFA) among cognitively alert residents in state licensed Assisted Living (AL) facilities, and to investigate the influence of PFA on food satisfaction, while controlling for functional (physical, social, and psychological) status, general health, and demographic characteristics. The study was designed to achieve four objectives: 1) to define a theoretical framework for food autonomy among residents in AL settings and to develop an instrument accordingly; 2) to evaluate the content and construct validity of the PFA scale; 3) to evaluate the reliability of the PFA scale; and 4) to investigate the effect of perceived food autonomy, functional (physical, social and psychological) status, and general health on food satisfaction in AL settings. Definitions for food autonomy and three underlying dimensions were developed based on conceptualizations of personal autonomy for older adults in long-term care settings, which provided a theoretical framework for the PFA scale development. Content validity was established by expert panel evaluation and a pilot study. Construct validity was achieved from factor analysis procedures with a sample of 120 residents from eleven AL facilities. Cronbach's alpha measure of internal consistency showed the 11-item PFA scale to be reliable (alpha = .71). Multiple linear regression analysis examined the effect of residents' PFA, health and functional status, and demographic characteristics on food satisfaction. Food satisfaction was measured by a highly reliable (alpha = .87) scale that was compiled for this study. Perceived food autonomy was the most significant predictor of food satisfaction, explaining 37% of its variance. Residents' perceptions of daily pain along with the joint effect of ADL needs and dentures use made a lesser but significant contribution. Altogether, the above variables explained 48% of the variance in residents' food satisfaction. Application of reliable%instruments such as the PFA and FS scales can be used by AL provider to guide food service quality improvement efforts. Residents' PFA and food satisfaction should be periodically measured due to the typical decline in overall health and functional status of AL residents.
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