Nutrition Care Practices, Barriers, Competencies and Education in Nutrition: a Survey Among Ghanaian Medical Doctors

Victor Mogre*, Fred Stevens, Paul A. Aryee, Femke L. Matorwmasen-Akkermans, Braimah Abubakari, Albert Scherpbier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background we evaluated medical doctors’ nutrition care practices, competencies and barriers to providing nutrition care. Furthermore, doctors’ satisfaction and perceived adequacy of their nutrition education as well as the use and effectiveness of training and learning resources for continuing nutrition education were also investigated.methodsthis cross-sectional study included medical doctors working at various levels of care in ghana who responded to either an online or paper-based survey. Appropriate statistical tools were used to analyse the data.resultsmajority (70%) of the 114 doctors who responded to the survey estimated that more than 60% of their patients needed nutrition care. However, only = 40% received such care. More than 80% of doctors referred patients to dieticians/nutritionists. Comfort levels correlated positively (r = 0.288; p = 0.002) with attitudes about nutrition care. The most common barriers to nutrition care were lack of time (79%), inadequate knowledge (78.6%) and counselling skills (68.4%). About 66% perceived their nutrition education in medical school to be inadequate, and more than 70% were either unsatisfied or undecided with their nutrition educational experiences. Perceived adequacy (r = 0.200; p = 0.016) and satisfaction with nutrition education (r = 0.218; p = 0.002) were associated with doctors’ comfort levels. Only 30% were currently using a nutrition-related learning resource for continuing education in nutrition.conclusiondoctors felt their patients required more nutrition care than they could provide. Their nutrition care was hindered by lack of time, inadequate knowledge, confidence and counselling skills. Educational interventions that improve on medical doctors’ attitudes and comfort levels in providing nutrition care may be needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815–824
JournalMedical Science Educator
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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