Use of Teach-Back to Reinforce Nutrition Knowledge in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Tom Blodgett and Dr. Constance Sheets





Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-23-2016


Background: There is little evidence based research available on how the elderly population learn best. More research is needed on teaching techniques in this population.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a "teach-back" intervention for older adults.

Hypothesis: Participants in a teach-back group will retain more about healthy nutrition in two weeks than participants in a control group.

Design: Pre/Post-test.

Methods: Participants included older adults who resided in independent living, were 65 years or older, English speaking, able to read and write, had no documented form of dementia, and live independently. The 20 individuals who participated gathered in a familiar room where they were given a baseline test followed by a nutrition presentation. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a placebo group or the teach-back group. Subjects were called individually into a room where they were given the teach-back intervention or a placebo conversation on exercise. After five minutes, participants went to a test room to complete a post test. The subjects received a second post-test two weeks later.

Results: Both groups showed significant increases in knowledge about nutrition

Conclusion: There is not enough evidence to recommend that teach-back is the best method for teaching elderly adults. With that said, education needs to be geared towards individual learning needs and further studies on effective teaching techniques are needed.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Jessica Coapstick and Ila Jackson are senior nursing students. Graciela Payan is a junior nursing student. All three are interested in how educational teaching methods impact the overall knowledge gained by clients.

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