Brief Report| Volume 21, ISSUE 9, P1336-1340.e1, September 2020

Effects of an Eating Ability Promotion Program for Community-Dwelling Older Adults



      Taiwan is projected to become a super-aged society in 2026. Taiwan's government introduced an innovative preventive care policy to improve aging-related conditions in 2017. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of an eating ability promotion program (EAPP) on the physical and mental performance of community-dwelling older adults.


      Single-masked, cluster randomized trial.


      Two community care stations in Taichung, Taiwan.


      Volunteers were recruited from these 2 community care stations. The 70 participants were aged ≥60 years, able to walk independently and take care of themselves, and understood Mandarin or Taiwanese.


      The volunteers were randomly assigned to an intervention; 40 participated in EAPP training courses (experimental group) and 30 participated in originally scheduled activities only (control group). EAPP training courses were conducted in the care stations 4 hours per week for 12 weeks (for a total of 48 hours).


      The physical performance outcomes were oral health, nutritional status, and fragility, assessed using the Oral Health Assessment Tool, the Mini Nutritional Assessment, and the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures fragility index, respectively. Cognitive function was evaluated with the Mini-Cog test. Measurements were performed at baseline, at the end of the 12-week intervention, and 1 month later.


      Following the EAPP intervention, controlling for baseline differences, the oral health (F = 33.29, P < .001), nutritional status (F = 7.30, P = .009), and scale of fragility (F = 19.05, P < .001) of the participants in the experimental group were significantly better than those reported in the control group.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Results of this preliminary study suggest that the EAPP intervention may be an effective approach for improving oral health, nutritional status, and fragility in community-dwelling older adults. This training course, which provides clear and concise information regarding eating ability strategies, should undergo further evaluation and, if demonstrated to be effective and cost-effective in broader trials, may be useful in promoting healthy living.


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