Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Behavioral Health (MSBH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Kelly McDermott


Purpose: This project aimed to measure the acceptability and feasibility of plant-based diets among low-income individuals with type II diabetes at the Samaritan House Food Pharmacy and to create a user-centered pilot program to encourage the adoption of a plant-based diet.

Background: Plant-based diets are effective for preventing, treating, and reversing type II diabetes, but there is not much evidence about the acceptability and feasibility of these diets.

Methods: Focus groups were used to gather qualitative data about the acceptability and feasibility of plant-based diets in the target population. The researcher conducted interviews with Food Pharmacy program leaders to learn about their vision for the program and gather feedback about the proposed digital nutrition education platform. Food Pharmacy clients were asked to engage in usability testing of the pilot plant-based nutrition education website.

Results: An emerging theme in the focus groups was that Food Pharmacy clients were concerned about being able to attend in-person nutrition education meetings due to busy and unpredictable schedules. The leader interviews established several key priorities for the Food Pharmacy: increased sustainability, increased access, and increased convenience of the program. Usability testing with Food Pharmacy clients revealed that the pilot plant-based nutrition education website was highly acceptable.

Conclusion: Plant-based diets are feasible and acceptable among Food Pharmacy clients, and a digital plant-based nutrition education platform is recommended for increasing access.