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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of an instrument to evaluate therapeutic nutrition education Hauchecorne, Catherine Morley


The growing challenge to clinical dietitian/nutritionists to demonstrate their effectiveness in order to maintain funding levels, and the move toward outcome measurement in health care prompted this study. This study was undertaken to develop and test an instrument to i) measure respondents' perceptions about nutrition education (where therapeutic dietary changes were required), ii) measure dietary change(s) following contact with a dietitian, and iii) reveal any unintended effects of nutrition education. Adult ambulatory oncology patients who had talked with a dietitian at the B.C. Cancer Agency were the respondents. Interviews with key informants led to the development of the Value of Nutrition Education conceptual framework. The framework was the basis for the questions for the next set of interviews. Interviews with a second group of respondents provided a range of responses to the questions. Once a final draft of the instrument was agreed to by the expert panel, a third group of respondents pilot tested the instrument. The expert panel critiqued each of the steps involved in instrument development and testing. Initial and after one week returns indicated instrument reliability. Respondents reported that they had benefitted from nutrition education in terms of improved physical well-being after making dietary changes and improved psychological well-being following interaction with a dietitian. The instrument was not useful as a measure of dietary change. As well as providing a measure of reported benefits of nutrition education, results can be used to guide decision making about nutrition education practice.

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