Title page for ETD etd-04262002-114506

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Holsinger, Amanda Joy Toscano
Author's Email Address amtoscan@vt.edu
URN etd-04262002-114506
Title Are Nutrition and Food Security Concerns a Priority of Certified Nursing Assistants in Work and Family Environments?
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stadler, Kathleen M. Committee Chair
Lambur, Michael T. Committee Member
Schlenker, Eleanor D. Committee Member
  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • food insecurity
  • working-poor
Date of Defense 2002-04-12
Availability unrestricted
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are responsible for the care of America’s aging population. CNAs are paid a miniscule amount of money and are often ineligible for medical benefits through their employers. CNAs bathe, change, feed, and help toilet the residents of long-term care facilities. The stressful work and personal lives of CNAs leads to many problems such as high turnover rates, absenteeism, health problems, and elder abuse. In the United States, food insecurity is a concern for many of the uninsured working poor. The purpose of this study was to assess the overall perceived concerns, barriers, and solutions of CNAs in both their work and family environments, identify where nutrition and food security fits into the priorities of CNAs, and identify educational strategies to improve their health and overall quality of life. Twenty-nine CNAs participated in six focus groups across the state of Virginia. Triangulation techniques were used to compare both qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (participatory activities and questionnaires) research. Participatory activities showed that the top home concern of CNAs was money management. CNAs ranked keeping their family healthy fourth (9.6%), and they ranked preparing fast easy meals eighth (1.7%). The top work concern of CNAs was time management. Staying healthy at work ranked fourth (12.9%), while packing a nutritious lunch was sixth (3.4%). The preferred methods of education for the participants were watching videotapes, attending classes at a central location, and having a mentor to help them with their problems.
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