Construct Validation of Three Nutrition Questions Using Health and Diet Ratings in Older Canadian Males Living in the Community

Usman Akhtar, Heather H Keller, Robert B Tate, Christina O Lengyel
Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 2015, 76 (4): 194-9
Brief nutrition screening tools are desired for research and practice. Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition (SCREEN-II, 14 items) and the abbreviated version SCREEN-II-AB (8 items) are valid and reliable nutrition screening tools for older adults. This exploratory study used a retrospective cross-sectional design to determine the construct validity of a subset of 3 items (weight loss, appetite, and swallowing difficulty) currently on the SCREEN-II and SCREEN-II-AB tools. Secondary data on community-dwelling senior males (n = 522, mean ± SD age = 86.7 ± 3.0 years) in the Manitoba Follow-up Study (MFUS) study were available for analysis. Participants completed the mailed MFUS Nutrition Survey that included SCREEN-II items and questions pertaining to self-rated health, diet healthiness, and rating of the importance of nutrition towards successful aging as the constructs for comparison. Self-perceived health status (F = 14.7, P < 0.001), diet healthiness (ρ = 0.17, P = 0.002) and the rating of nutrition's importance to aging (ρ = 0.10, P = 0.03) were correlated with the 3-item score. Inferences were consistent with associations between these construct variables and the full SCREEN-II. Three items from SCREEN-II and SCREEN-II-AB demonstrate initial construct validity with self-perceived health status and diet healthiness ratings by older males; further exploration for criterion and predictive validity in more diverse samples is needed.

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