Promoting dietary awareness: Home-dwelling older adults' perspectives on using a nutrition application.Int J Older People Nurs. 2020 Jun 29 [Online ahead of print]IJ
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This study investigated older adults' experiences of using the Appetitus app with support from healthcare professionals.
Good nutrition status is important for good health when ageing. However, as undernutrition remains a prevalent and persistent problem among older adults, the study explored whether technology affords innovative support for nutritional self-care among older adults.
The study was explorative and qualitative in approach.
Appetitus was developed as a tablet-based application to prevent and alleviate undernutrition among older adults. Eighteen home-dwelling older adults used the app for 8 weeks. Older adults received home care, and local healthcare professionals introduced the app and gave support during the study.
Appetitus served as a source of inspiration and a reminder of available, relevant food options. Appetitus encouraged some participants to eat or drink more by the end of the day while others became more aware of selecting food options to ensure sufficient protein, energy and fluids. However, some participants made no active effort to change their diet despite feedback from the app that suggested they did not eat or drink enough. Technical support from healthcare professionals facilitated participants' use of the app and tablet. Some participants also received more specific nutritional follow-up that helped to make their experience of using the app more meaningful.
Older adults' awareness about the importance of keeping a diet that helps prevent undernutrition was reinforced through the use of Appetitus and discussing nutrition with healthcare professionals.
IMPLICATION FOR PRACTICE
The findings affirm feasibility of using technology in nutritional interventions enhancing self-care among older adults.