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J Clin Nurs. 2010 Aug;19(15-16):2117-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03186.x.

Relationships among nutritional self-efficacy, health locus of control and nutritional status in older Taiwanese adults.

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School of Nursing, Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan.



The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among selected demographic characteristics, nutrition self-efficacy, health locus of control and nutritional status in older Taiwanese adults.


The number of older adults in Taiwan is increasing, and they have been shown to have poor nutritional status. However, little is known about the factors that lead to poor nutritional status in this population.


Correlational, cross-sectional study.


Participants were randomly selected from two district public health centres in Yilan County, Taiwan. Of 162 individuals who met the study criteria, 156 agreed to participate and provided data on demographic information, nutrition self-efficacy (Cardiac Diet Self-Efficacy scale), health locus of control (Multidimensional Health Locus of Control scale) and nutritional status (Mini-Nutritional Assessment and serum albumin levels).


The majority of this sample was healthy men (60.9%) with a mean age of 72.29 years. The results indicated that age, educational level, current chronic diseases and chance health locus of control all affected nutritional status in terms of Mini-Nutritional Assessment scores, but only current chronic diseases explained significant variance in nutritional status in terms of albumin levels.


The current study integrated self-efficacy theory and Health Locus of Control theory to better understand how background characteristics, nutrition self-efficacy and Health Locus of Control relate to nutritional status in older Taiwanese adults. However, the overall predicted variance accounted for by predictors was small, further research is therefore necessary to gain a deeper understanding of nutritional status and its factors among older Taiwanese adults.


Nurses can help older persons identify factors that relate to their nutritional status and plan effective interventions to maintain healthy nutrition behaviours with the following risk characteristics: (1) lower level of education, (2) more chronic diseases and (3) external control orientation.

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