Nutritional and health status among nursing home residents in Lebanon: Comparison across gender in a national cross sectional study
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Background: This study described the differences between elderly men and women living in Lebanese long-term care nursing homes on socio-economic, health and nutritional status. Methods. This study used a cross-sectional design. Field researchers obtained data from 221 residents; 148 (67%) women and 73 (33%) men, living in 36 nursing homes. Data on health conditions; nutritional, psychological, and functional status; socio-demographic characteristics, as well as social relations were collected. The analysis used both chi-square and t-test tests. Results: The majority of elderly had low socio-economic and poor health status. In comparison to men, women were significantly less educated, had lower occupational status, had no partner, relied financially on their children and relatives, and enjoyed better social relations and health behaviours. Furthermore, the prevalence of both; malnutrition, and at risk of malnutrition, were at 3.2% and 27.6% respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between women and men on Mini Nutritional Assessment, Activities of Daily Living, Geriatric Depression Scale, Body Mass Index, and chronic diseases. While women reported "good" health status compared to men, they continued to have higher prevalence of diseases and chronic pain. Conclusions: This study explored the socio-demographic, health, and nutritional status of elderly residing in Lebanese nursing homes and compared these characteristics across gender. The results indicated the need of health support and institutional interventions for elderly women residents.
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