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J Adv Nurs. 2001 Jul;35(1):69-78.

Case studies of food shopping, cooking and eating habits in older women with Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



The principal aim of this study was to investigate how married and single-living older women diagnosed with Parkinson's disease managed to shop for food, cook and carry out their meals; and to observe whether their nutritional needs were satisfied. A secondary aim was to identify women with severe motor problems and describe their food-related situation.


Parkinson's disease is associated with motor and eating problems, which, combined with age-related declines in physical functioning, may affect activities of daily living and dietary intake.


Qualitative interviews and food survey were carried out in the homes of 10 women aged 67-80 years. The sample was recruited from outpatient registers.


Decreased sense of smell, appetite and taste in combination with problems transporting food to the mouth and swallowing were risks for nutritional well-being. Food shopping was most difficult to manage, but six cooked even if their cooking style was changed. Married women with healthy husbands received support from their spouses. Single-living women suffering from motor problems had to call for help, which represented a threat to their well-being. Independence was given high priority.


The whole situation - including psychosocial and stress factors - must be taken into account when discussing shopping, cooking and eating among old women with Parkinson's disease. A home-helper should not take over but facilitate procedures so that the woman can manage as long as possible. This gave them self-esteem.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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