Correlations Between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Socioeconomic Factors Among Patients with Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2016
This study’s purpose was to measure fruit and vegetable intake and its potential correlation to social economic status (SES) (annual income and education level) in a sample of older adults with chronic wounds. The antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, and zinc contained in fruits and vegetables are essential for efficient wound healing (lower levels are linked to slower healing) and optimal health. Chronic wound prevalence has increased dramatically in the U.S. with associated costs now at ~$3 billion/year, but little is known about fruit and vegetable consumption by chronic wound patients. This descriptive correlational study utilized data from a larger project to measure fruit and vegetable servings/d by chronic wound patients (n=37) who completed electronic food frequency questionnaires validated in the Women’s Health Initiative, and sociodemographic questionnaires. Body mass index (BMI) was also calculated. Correlations between fruit and vegetable servings and SES were assessed using Spearman’s rho. On average, study participants consumed 1.18 servings/d of fruit (SD=1.35) and 0.93 servings/d of vegetables (SD = 0.82) – (Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 2 servings/d of fruit; 2.5 servings/d of vegetables). On average, the group was 61.5 years (SD=11.5) with a BMI of 40.6 (SD=11.48). The majority were male (65%), white (73%), and unemployed/disabled (87%). Although 92% reported having ≥ a high school diploma, 63% reported making ≤ 29,000/year. This study reports that chronic wound patients in the sample were consuming inadequate amounts of fruits and vegetables (per national guidelines) and were severely obese. Although no significant link between fruit and vegetable intake and SES emerged, collective findings suggest that assessing fruit and vegetable intake, determining potential barriers to consuming adequate amounts, and developing patient-centered interventions to promote consumption and reduce high BMIs may improve healing outcomes. Interdisciplinary teams of nurses and dieticians could lead these initiatives and design future studies with larger samples.
Honorable mention in Clinical Sciences category at Denman Undergraduate Research Forum
Academic Major: Nursing
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