PHP 001 March: WellnessRx Education Initiative: Development and Pilot Study of Nutrition and Physical Activity Education for Health Sciences Students

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Background. Health profession students require knowledge and skills in nutrition and physical activity for patient/client care and for their own wellness. This is generally lacking in their preprofessional didactic education. Method. Based on an environmental scan of health profession student education programs at our university and a conceptual framework based on adult learning theory and Kolb’s cycle, interprofessional stakeholders developed online learning modules on nutrition and physical activity for incorporation into course curricula by health science faculties. This process included articulating goals and objectives, with an outcome of enhancing student knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs). Pilots
of the modules included student KSA assessment and interviews/focus groups. Results. Designing learning modules on nutrition and physical activity for individualized implementation in different faculties was a priority. Two learning modules were developed and pilot-tested within one faculty. Pre- and posttests of student knowledge were used to assess effectiveness. Knowledge scores improved from pretest (54.7%) to posttest (68.2%, p < .001) for the module “Nutrition and Physical Activity Across the Life Cycle” but did not change significantly (pretest 76.3%, posttest 77.0%; p = .70) for the “Self-Health” module. Interviews/focus groups showed students perceived the two modules as influencing their learning
of KSAs. Conclusions. This process addressed a curricular gap across health science faculties. The consensus-building design process helped focus curriculum priorities and develop a shared curriculum vision. Students demonstrated KSA learning as shown in their pre–post assessments and comments. Further module development and larger scale implementation and evaluation studies are proposed.

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