Impact Of Educational Program About Nutrition That Enhances The Immunity Among Older Adults At Qena City, Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Gerontological Nursing, South Valley University, Egypt.

2 Department of Community Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Assuit University, Egypt

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Australia

4 Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University, Egypt.


Background: Immunity age related changes make elderly riskier for infectious diseases. Consequently, it increases morbidity, irreversible frailty and dependency. Diet is recognized to modulate immune functions in several modes and to affect host resistance to infections.
Objective: The study aimed to improve the knowledge of older adults about the nutritional elements and its sources that support and increase the immune response.
Research design: Quasi experimental research design.
Setting: The study was conducted at an elderly club at Qena city, Egypt.
Subjects: A convenient sample of 106 older adults from an elderly club was randomly assigned equally into either the intervention group or the control group.
Method: The educational sessions were implemented over five weeks. Knowledge on nutritional elements were measured at baseline, immediately after the intervention and three months later.
Results: Immediately after the intervention, the percentage of elderly with ‘good’ knowledge increased from 0% to 90% in the intervention group (p=0.001). While this dropped to 46% at follow up, percentage of elderly in the intervention group with ‘fair’ knowledge was high at 48%. Age-related cognitive ability might have contributed to this difference.
Conclusion: The nursing intervention improved knowledge and nutritional habits of the elderly.