Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs of Nutrition Among Physical Therapy Students

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Abstract

Similar to other medical professions, the field of physical therapy is transitioning from a reactive to proactive model of care. This holistic approach to practice largely includes physical activity but also includes the often-overlooked field of nutrition. The purpose of this research study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of nutrition in physical therapy students. Subjects included current students and recent graduates of doctoral physical therapy programs (N = 151). A cross-sectional mixed methods survey was disseminated to Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students. The survey consisted of 49 questions including demographic information, a nutrition knowledge test (NKT), and questions about attitudes and beliefs regarding nutrition. The mean NKT score of this sample was15.09 ± 3.33 out of 28 total points. Only 19.2% of total respondents agreed or strongly agreed with feeling comfortable counseling clients and only 2.6% agreed or strongly agreed that their nutrition courses adequately provided them with the proper tools to educate clients on nutrition. However, 60.2% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that an introductory nutrition course should be a requirement of any DPT education. Findings demonstrate a gap in knowledge of nutrition among physical therapy students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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