Nutrition in Medicine: Medical Students׳ Satisfaction, Perceived Relevance and Preparedness for Practice

Victor Mogre, Fred Stevens, Paul A. Aryee, Albert J.j.a. Scherpbier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Doctors play a critical role in providing nutrition care and supporting patients to adopt healthy dietary habits. Improving the quality of nutrition education in medical schools is necessary to build the capacity of doctors to deliver effective nutrition care to help reduce malnutrition especially for sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated Ghanaian undergraduate clinical level medical students’ satisfaction with their current nutrition education, preparedness to provide nutrition care, perceived relevance of nutrition education to their future practice and their relationships.

Method
A survey among 207 clinical level medical students was conducted. An 11-item questionnaire with subscales was used to assess students’ demographic characteristics, satisfaction with current nutrition education, preparedness to provide nutrition care and perceived relevance of nutrition education to their future practice.

Results
Ninety-two percent (n=187) of the students considered nutrition education to be relevant to their future practice. However, the majority of the students (70%) were dissatisfied with the amount of time dedicated to nutrition education in their curriculum; integration of nutrition into organ-system based modules (62.0%); inclusion of nutrition materials to promote independent study (62.8%) and nutrition course content (59.0%). Only 22.2% felt adequately prepared by their current nutrition education to provide nutrition care in the general practice setting. Satisfaction with current education in nutrition was positively related to students’ preparedness to provide nutrition care in the general practice setting.

Discussion
Students were dissatisfied with their current education in nutrition, felt inadequately prepared to provide nutrition care and considered nutrition education to be highly relevant to their future practice. The findings of this study provide additional evidence that suggests changes in the current format and content of nutrition education in medical education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Professions Education
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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