Background: Alcoholism is a disorder of severe detrimental impact on the nutritional status of an alcoholic causing malnutrition that impairs the metabolic system and body organs. Sub-optimal dietary intake amongst alcoholics inhibits effective rehabilitation and complete recovery from alcoholism.
Objective: This study aimed at evaluating the impact of instructional intervention on improving the dietary intake of recuperating alcoholics under three months’ rehabilitation in Asumbi Center.
Methods: This was an experimental (pre & post) study design of 207 alcoholics under rehabilitation at Asumbi Center recruited within one week of admission and re-assessed after three months of rehabilitation. A food frequency questionnaire was used to collect information on food consumed. Descriptive statistics was calculated as mean ± SD for the frequency questionnaire data captured on an Excel spread sheet. ANOVA was used to compare the scores of pre-test (baseline) to the corresponding scores of the posttest (intervention) for the frequency questionnaire data.
Results: The mean Food Variety Scores (± SD) for all foods consumed from the food groups was 16.02 (± 7.43) at baseline, indicating a low food variety, and 67.32 (± 34.24) after intervention representing a high food variety. After intervention (88.1%, n=182) were classified with a good dietary diversity score consuming more than 4 food groups while at baseline (77%, n=80) scored a poor dietary diversity score. At follow up, 89.4% (n=185) were eating more than 4 meals/day and 94% (n=195) reported no alcohol craving.
Conclusion: Alcoholics are receptive to instructional messages regarding the importance of nutrition on their health status particularly during rehabilitation and enhancing complete recovery from alcoholism. Dietary intake has a significant role in the effective rehabilitation of alcoholics.