BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Competent renal dietitians are crucial for better patient compliance and clinical outcomes, specifically in critical settings. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an evidence-based course in renal dietetics for dietitians working in health care systems where dietetic specialization is absent.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: Fifteen licensed dietitians working with hemodialysis patients in Lebanon were randomly recruited to participate in the course. The latter was developed by the study's primary investigator, according to evidence-based practice guidelines, and focused on all aspects of renal nutrition. Total course duration was 28 hours spread over a 2 month period. Dietitians' knowledge in renal nutrition was tested pre- and post-training through a 23-item questionnaire; the total score was expressed in percentage (<60% score indicated insufficient knowledge). Paired-samples t test was used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Overall knowledge of the dietitians significantly improved post-training and reached satisfactory levels (pre: 38.75 +/- 17.20%, post: 62.08 +/- 21.85%). Sub-analysis of the change in the knowledge showed significant and satisfactory improvement only in 3 topics: 1) correct body weight use in calculations, 2) energy estimation method and 3) phosphorus management. Knowledge in the fluid management significantly improved but did not achieve a satisfactory level.
CONCLUSION: The course significantly improved dietitians' knowledge in renal nutrition. If adopted as part of the continuing education of dietitians in countries that lack dietetic specializations, it may serve the first step towards improving health care practice.
- renal nutrition
- continuing education
- CHRONIC KIDNEY-DISEASE
- PRACTICE GUIDELINES