Journal of Biomedical Education / 2015 / Article / Tab 2

Research Article

New Zealand Medical Students Have Positive Attitudes and Moderate Confidence in Providing Nutrition Care: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Table 2

Students’ attitudes towards incorporating nutrition care into practice, ranked in order of agreement ( = 183).


Patient motivation is essential to achieving dietary change.174 (95)5 (3)4 (2)
It is important that I evaluate a patient’s alcohol intake as part of their overall nutritional status.165 (90)16 (9)2 (1)
A change toward a healthier lifestyle is important at any stage of life.166 (91)17 (9)0 (0)
Doctors require the support of health professionals such as nurses and dietitians to reinforce patient nutrition educationa.159 (87)21 (11)3 (2)
It is important that I advocate diet and physical activity to promote weight controla.156 (85)26 (14)1 (1)
There is a role for practice nurses to provide nutrition education to patients when referred by the doctor.155 (85)20 (11)8 (4)
Doctors can have an effect on a patient’s dietary behaviour if they take the time to discuss the problem.152 (84)31 (17)0 (0)
Patients requiring detailed nutrition counselling require referral to a dietitianb.153 (84)26 (14)4 (2)
Specific advice about how to make dietary changes could help some patients improve their dietary habits.148 (81)33 (18)2 (1)
All doctors, regardless of specialty, should counsel high-risk patients about dietary change.144 (79)32 (17)7 (4)
Patients need ongoing counselling following my initial instruction to maintain behaviour changes. 140 (76)42 (23)1 (1)
It is important that I assist paediatric patients to establish healthy eating patterns early to prevent risk of chronic diseases.124 (68)53 (29)6 (3)
I have an obligation to improve the health of my patients including discussing nutrition with them.132 (72)48 (26)3 (2)
It is important that I refer patients with diet-related problems to registered dietitians and other qualified nutrition staff.132 (72)43 (23)8 (4)
Patients need specific instructions about how to change their eating behavioura.123 (67)54 (30)6 (3)
It is important that I address the importance of diet whenever I care for a patient.124 (68)50 (27)9 (5)
Nutrition counselling should be part of routine care by all doctors, regardless of speciality.121 (66)48 (26)14 (6)
It is important that I encourage patients to ask diet-related questions and refer them for assistance when needed.119 (65)56 (30)8 (5)
It is important that, wherever possible, I recommend diet changes before initiating drug therapy.114 (62)58 (32)11 (6)
It is important that I assess each patient’s stage of change before initiating dietary intervention.106 (60)61 (32)16 (8)
My patient education efforts will be effective in increasing patients’ compliance with nutritional recommendationsa.102 (56)68 (37)13 (7)
It is important that I advocate a low-fat diet for weight controla,b.99 (54)68 (37)16 (9)
Most doctors are not adequately trained to discuss nutrition with patientsa,b.97 (53)68 (37)18 (10)
It is important that I perform at least some nutritional assessment with every patient.77 (42)72 (39)34 (19)
Nutrition assessment should be included in any routine appointment, just like any diagnosis and treatment.73 (40)78 (43)32 (17)
Patients will rarely change their behaviour if they do not have active symptoms of disease.74 (40)80 (44)29 (16)
Patients are not motivated to make changes unless they are sick.58 (33)73 (40)52 (28)
Patients will change their eating patterns only if faced with a significant health problem (e.g., heart attack).54 (30)72 (39)57 (31)
After receiving nutrition counselling, patients with poor eating patterns will make moderate changes in their eating behaviour.48 (26)110 (60)25 (14)
It is important that I assess each patient’s intake of vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements.42 (23)89 (49)52 (28)
Nutrition counselling is not an effective use of my professional time.36 (20)61 (33)86 (47)
After receiving nutrition counselling, patients with poor eating habits will make major changes in their eating behaviour.30 (16)92 (50)61 (34)
Most patients will try to change their lifestyle if I advise them to do so.24 (13)87 (48)72 (39)

Positively associated with students’ self-perceived quality of nutrition education received during their medical degree ().
bPositively associated with students’ self-perceived quantity of nutrition education received during their medical degree ().

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