Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Heidi J. Wengreen

Abstract

Rates of overweight and obese adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the United States are high and associated with increased risk of chronic diseases. Many of these adults are trying to become more independent in the community and live in group homes where care is managed by a paid employee. Group home managers assist clients with daily living such as shopping and meal preparation and play an important role in their care. Nutrition and healthy behavior choices are important to help keep this population independent and decrease risks of excess weight and related diseases. Many group home managers and clients have limited nutrition knowledge. Few nutrition education programs are available to either group home managers or their clients.

This study adapted a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) curriculum to teach adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities living in group homes. SNAP-Ed is a government food assistance program targeted at providing basic nutrition education to low-income persons. The study’s objectives were to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of the adapted SNAP-Ed curriculum by measuring nutrition knowledge among group home managers and clients and managers’ intent for behavior change. Extension paraprofessionals taught the original SNAP-Ed lessons to group home managers and trained them on the adapted curriculum (n=33). The trained managers then taught the adapted SNAP-Ed lessons to their clients (n=83).

Results from the study showed both group home managers and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities improved nutrition knowledge from pre to post tests. Group home managers reported intent to change behavior for 12 of 18 behaviors examined. The curriculum was seen to be adaptable to fit various needs of group homes in different teaching settings, learning levels, and interests for participants.

Overall, the adapted SNAP-Ed curriculum for managers and clients living in group homes appears to increase knowledge of nutrition and may improve food behavior. Increased nutritional knowledge among group home managers and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities may help decrease risk of nutritional related diseases.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on June 10, 2012.

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