Responding to the Challenges of Recruiting and Retaining Homebound Older Men and Women in a Study of Nutrition and Function Academic Article uri icon


  • An interactive, two-track recruitment and retention ap-proach was designed to (1) recruit home-delivered meals programs in four disparate North Carolina counties as active study partners, and (2) recruit and retain a diverse sample of older men and women from a randomized list of 934 home-delivered meal recipients. A telephone screening survey, using the telephone version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was conducted to exclude persons with cognitive impairment. Eligible persons were recruited for a comprehensive home visit and 3 dietary recalls. Participation rate and group comparisons (e.g., excluded for telephone screening survey vs. not excluded; cognitively eligible vs. not eligible; and eligible participants vs. non-participants) were calculated. Eighty percent of those who completed the telephone survey were eligible for a home visit; 81% of these persons scheduled a home visit; and 99% of those who scheduled a home visit completed a home visit and 3 dietary recalls. The study sample of 345 homebound older persons was 81% women, 49% Black, 32% < 9 years education, 65% income < $750/month, and 58% lived alone. Group comparisons indicated that total ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), nutritional risk, and economic need were not statistically different. Studies of home- bound older persons are needed to better understand nutritional and health-related problems; to identify appropriate interventions to improve or maintain nutritional and functional health; and to develop community-based long-term care policy and programs. This demonstrates the feasibility of and provides an innovative method for the recruitment and retention of homebound older persons. 2002 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Nutrition For the Elderly

author list (cited authors)

  • Sharkey, J. R.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Sharkey, Joseph R

publication date

  • December 2002