The Gerontologist
 QUICK SEARCH:   [advanced]


This Article
Right arrow Full Text
Right arrow Full Text (PDF)
Right arrow Alert me when this article is cited
Right arrow Alert me if a correction is posted
Right arrow Similar articles in this journal
Right arrow Similar articles in PubMed
Right arrow Alert me to new issues of the journal
Right arrow Download to citation manager
Citing Articles
Right arrow Citing Articles via HighWire
Right arrow Citing Articles via Google Scholar
Google Scholar
Right arrow Articles by Sharkey, J. R.
Right arrow Articles by Haines, P. S.
Right arrow Search for Related Content
Right arrow PubMed Citation
Right arrow Articles by Sharkey, J. R.
Right arrow Articles by Haines, P. S.
The Gerontologist 41:546-552 (2001)
© 2001 The Gerontological Society of America

The Feasibility of Using a Telephone-Administered Survey for Determining Nutritional Service Needs of Noninstitutionalized Older Adults in Rural Areas

Time and Costs

Joseph R. Sharkey1, MPH, RD and Pamela S. Haines1, DrPH, RD

Correspondence: Joseph R. Sharkey,1, MPH, RD, Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#7400, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400. E-mail: aggie1{at}

Decision Editor: Eleanor S. McConnell, RN, PhD

Purpose: This study examined response, participation, time, and costs for a telephone-administered survey to obtain comprehensive information on general health, eating habits, living environment, and functional status from a sample of older persons in a rural North Carolina county. Design and Methods: A probability sample of persons aged 60 years and older from the most recent electoral rolls were mailed a personalized letter, which was followed by telephone contact to recruit them into a contemporaneous survey that used a modified version of the Nutrition Screening Initiative's Level I and II screens. Time requirements and costs associated with the completion of surveys were calculated. Results: Seventy-six percent of the persons contacted by telephone (residents of 96% of county precincts) completed the survey. Because minority elders were more likely to lack a working telephone, they were underrepresented in the sample. With 555 calling attempts (58% of surveys completed on first attempt), we estimated a cost of $10.65 per completed survey. Implications: Telephone-administered surveying of older adults may be considered as an appropriate component of an overall community-based service strategy. The estimation of the constituents of nutritional risk, by geographic area, economic status, or ethnicity, may aid in providing estimates of service needs and procuring and allocating resources. Additional methods of data collection are necessary in order to target older persons without telephone service.

Key Words: Nutrition screening • Telephone surveys • Community-based nutrition programs

This article has been cited by other articles:

Home page
J Aging HealthHome page
C. S.-K. Tang and C.-Y. Wong
Psychosocial Factors Influencing the Practice of Preventive Behaviors Against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Among Older Chinese in Hong Kong
J Aging Health, August 1, 2005; 17(4): 490 - 506.
[Abstract] [PDF]

Home page
GerontologistHome page
B. E. Fries, M. James, S. S. Hammer, L. R. Shugarman, and J. N. Morris
Is Telephone Screening Feasible? Accuracy and Cost-Effectiveness of Identifying People Medically Eligible for Home- and Community-Based Services
Gerontologist, October 1, 2004; 44(5): 680 - 688.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

Home page
Health Educ ResHome page
H. Iredell, T. Shaw, P. Howat, R. James, and J. Granich
Introductory postcards: do they increase response rate in a telephone survey of older persons?
Health Educ. Res., April 1, 2004; 19(2): 159 - 164.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2001 by The Gerontological Society of America.