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Article

Australian and New Zealand Medical Students’ Attitudes and Confidence towards Providing Nutrition Care in Practice

1
School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, and Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
2
School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030598
Received: 22 January 2020 / Revised: 14 February 2020 / Accepted: 21 February 2020 / Published: 25 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Education in Medicine)
The prevalence of lifestyle-related chronic disease is increasing. Doctors in primary care are ideally placed to support patient nutrition care, but recent reviews show education is still lacking. This study aimed to identify medical students’ attitudes towards the role of nutrition in health, nutrition knowledge, and perceptions of nutrition education, in postgraduate (Australia) and undergraduate (New Zealand) programs in order to identify gaps in nutrition knowledge and skills to better inform future education. Second-year graduate and third-year undergraduate students participated in semi-structured focus groups and interviews. A general inductive approach was used to investigate students’ (1) attitudes toward the role of nutrition in health, (2) nutrition knowledge based on nutrition-specific competencies and (3) perceived adequacy of nutrition education received. Interviews (nine) and focus groups (seven) identified four common themes: (1) role of medical practitioners in nutrition care, (2) barriers to nutrition education, (3) nutrition knowledge, and (4) nutrition-related skills. Students perceive that doctors are well-placed to provide some level of nutrition care, but poor translation of nutrition knowledge to clinical contexts is a key limitation in nutrition education. In summary, nutrition education may be insufficient to support the nutrition-related competency development of the undergraduate and postgraduate student participants in this study. Focusing on the integration of these skills into the curriculum may be a priority. View Full-Text
Keywords: doctors; medical education; medical students; nutrition care; nutrition education doctors; medical education; medical students; nutrition care; nutrition education
MDPI and ACS Style

Lepre, B.; Crowley, J.; Mpe, D.; Bhoopatkar, H.; Mansfield, K.J.; Wall, C.; Beck, E.J. Australian and New Zealand Medical Students’ Attitudes and Confidence towards Providing Nutrition Care in Practice. Nutrients 2020, 12, 598. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030598

AMA Style

Lepre B, Crowley J, Mpe D, Bhoopatkar H, Mansfield KJ, Wall C, Beck EJ. Australian and New Zealand Medical Students’ Attitudes and Confidence towards Providing Nutrition Care in Practice. Nutrients. 2020; 12(3):598. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030598

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lepre, Breanna, Jennifer Crowley, Dineo Mpe, Harsh Bhoopatkar, Kylie J. Mansfield, Clare Wall, and Eleanor J. Beck. 2020. "Australian and New Zealand Medical Students’ Attitudes and Confidence towards Providing Nutrition Care in Practice" Nutrients 12, no. 3: 598. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030598

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