DEERFIELD, Ill., May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical residents showed a "significant and sustained improvement" in their nutrition knowledge after completing an interactive 3-hour nutrition education course designed by the nonprofit Gaples Institute, according to new research published in the journal PRiMER.
Although poor-quality diet is the number one risk factor for premature death and disability in the U.S., most medical students receive minimal or no training in how to counsel patients about nutrition. To fill this critical education gap, Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota examined the impact of the Gaples Institute's self-paced online nutrition science course in their medical residency programs.
The two universities' research findings showed:
- Residents who completed the study experienced a "significant and sustained increase" in their nutrition knowledge and a "persistent shift" in positive beliefs about the role of nutrition in clinical practice.
- The residents were also more likely to believe a healthy diet is important for their own self-care—a notable factor in a field where resilience and prevention of burnout are of increasing concern.
- Three months after completing the course, the residents were more likely to believe they should personally provide detailed nutrition information to patients.
Results of the study underscore the positive impact of incorporating a self-paced interactive nutrition learning experience in graduate medical education. The study authors noted that the course's interactivity distinguishes it from static learning materials by promoting active learner engagement. Research on effective learning in online medical education has demonstrated that interactivity results in up to a 75 percent improvement in retention of new material over more passive methodologies.
"The potential for utilizing this type of program for resident education in clinical nutrition is promising, as it is easily scalable, independent of local expertise, and time efficient," wrote the research team.
The full research study is available online here.
More information about the Gaples Institute online nutrition continuing medical education course is available here.
The Gaples Institute is an educational nonprofit with the sole mission of advancing the role of nutrition and lifestyle education in medicine. The Gaples Institute neither seeks nor accepts corporate funding.
SOURCE Gaples Institute