North Carolina has an uninsured population of 10.7%, the tenth highest in the country, and many uninsured adults must rely on free health clinics for prevention and treatment of chronic disease. However, little is known about the nutrition education needs of uninsured adults served by free health clinics, and potential acceptable strategies for intervention.
To conduct a needs assessment in western North Carolina to explore nutrition education needs, internet access, barriers, and feasibility of potential nutrition interventions for adults served by free health clinics.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
A semi-quantitative survey was distributed to 156 clients in waiting rooms of 2 free health clinics in western North Carolina.
Descriptive analyses were conducted using IBM's SPSS version 26 to determine frequencies for demographics, current nutrition knowledge, barriers, and internet access.
Roughly 60% of participants were female with an average age of 45 (±12.81), and the majority were Caucasian (81%). Nearly one-third of participants requested interventions focused on managing diabetes (32%), hypertension (39%), and heart disease (32%). Most participants were interested in interventions focused on produce (87%) and recipe ideas (73%). Barriers to cooking included: budgeting/cost, time constraints, lack of access to food and cooking equipment, disabilities, and homelessness. The majority reported having regular access to smartphones (70%), internet (60%), and were open to receiving nutrition education through social media (41%) and online videos (43%).
This study adds to the limited body of literature on nutrition education needs and potential strategies/foci of intervention for uninsured adults who rely on free health clinics. Results suggest nutrition interventions should work alongside clinics to address equipment and food access to facilitate the preparation and selection of healthier items. Additionally, future interventions could leverage online modalities to support and enhance in-person nutrition education offered through clinics.
Appendix. Supplementary data
© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.