Jaimie Snipes

 

Nutrition in Primary Care: An Evaluation of Providers’ Knowledge, Confidence, Attitudes, and Barriers to Incorporation in Practice

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to identify primary care providers’ self-perceived knowledge, confidence, attitudes, and barriers to providing nutritional counseling to patients with lifestyle-related chronic illness. Determining where knowledge deficits exist in order to assist in establishing the need to incorporate nutrition education within medical curricula.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional designed study was employed, with a convenience sample, and used an online assessment survey that was distributed through the Florida Department of Health (DOH) public database via Qualtrics targeting licensed Primary Care Providers in the state of Florida. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data for examination of the project aims.

Results: Positive attitudes towards incorporating nutritional counseling in the management of patients living with diet-related chronic conditions were found, yet despite this awareness, a majority of providers offered nutritional counseling to their patients’ half the time, rarely, or never; and when provided, the amount of time spent discussing nutrition with their patients was reported as 5 minutes or less. Providers expressed the continued need for further nutrition education and training to support them in their current role.

Implications: To improve providers nutrition knowledge and confidence and increase nutritional counseling within practice, an expansion of nutritional education in medical and advanced practice nursing curricula is warranted. This project focused on primary care providers self-perception of their nutrition confidence, knowledge, and attitudes, but other specialties should be considered in future research as nutritional counseling does not solely take place within the primary care setting.

Discussion: To improve providers nutrition knowledge and confidence and increase nutritional counseling within practice, an expansion of nutritional education in medical and advanced practice nursing curricula is warranted.

Conclusions: This project focused on primary care providers self-perception of their nutrition confidence, knowledge, and attitudes, but other specialties should be considered in future research as nutritional counseling does not solely take place within the primary care setting. 

Major Professor: Alicia Craig-Rodriguez, DNP, MBA, APRN, FNP-BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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