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Research Grants 2010


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.

2010 Grants - Crogan

Testing of the Eat Right Food Delivery System in Nursing Homes

Neva L. Crogan, Ph.D.
Washington State University
Spokane, Washington

2010 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

Nearly 80 percent of nursing home residents are cognitively impaired or have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Several long-term care studies have shown that residents with cognitive impairment or probable Alzheimer's are more prone to weight loss and malnutrition than healthy elderly. Prevention of weight loss is important because weight loss and low body weight are predictors of morbidity, mortality and poor quality of life.

Neva L. Crogan, Ph.D. will test the feasibility of the Eat Right (EatR) food delivery system and measure its impact on cognitively impaired residents' food satisfaction, food intake and subsequent nutritional status. EatR is designed to systematically change and update menus to include foods residents like to eat, and it supports resident food choice using a select menu and a buffet-style dining program in the dining room. Two Tucson, Arizona nursing homes have agreed to participate in the study, and 30 residents from each site will be randomly selected to participate in the intervention.

Cognitively impaired residents can make simple choices and are likely to choose and eat foods they are familiar with or that they like, leading to improved food intake. Although many nursing homes have tried practical approaches to meal service (meal carts, spoken menus, "fresh" menus), none have tested these approaches in controlled empirical investigations. Most important, none have tested the feasibility of a select menu or buffet-style dining program with cognitively impaired elders. Research findings will lead to a longitudinal study to further test the efficacy of the intervention and the development of a "tool-box" for replication of the intervention by other nursing homes across the United States.