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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Hegge


older people nutrition, older people social networks, social isolation


The nutritional status and social isolation of community dwelling elderly is a concern to the state of health for this population. Research has shown that the elderly have a low nutritional status and are socially isolated depending upon circumstances. The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation existed between nutritional status and social isolation.
A personal interview of 50 community dwelling elderly was conducted. The mean score on the Body Mass Index of the subjects was 23.65. The low value of the normal level of nutritional status was 24. The mean score on the Lubben Social Network Scale was 22.4. A socially isolated person would have a score of 20 or below. Nineteen of the 50 had a score of 20 or below. Using the Pearson r Correlation Coefficient no significant correlation was found between the nutritional status and social isolation of the community dwelling elderly.
Fifty-two percent of community dwelling elderly are below the suggested nutritional status established by the Nutritional Screening Initiative. Thirty-eight percent of community dwelling elderly are socially isolated. However, there is no significant correlation between the social isolation and nutritional status of the community dwelling elderly in this sample.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Older people -- Nutrition
Older people -- Social networks
Social isolation



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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