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Journal of Biomedical Education
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6865704, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/6865704
Research Article

Nutritional Counseling for Hypertensive Patients: Have Final-Year Nursing Students Learnt Enough to Be Able to Offer Advice to Such Patients?

1Department of Health Sciences Education, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

Correspondence should be addressed to Christiana Nsiah-Asamoah; hg.ude.ccu@notxubc

Received 25 May 2017; Revised 10 September 2017; Accepted 9 October 2017; Published 31 October 2017

Academic Editor: Stephen D. Helmer

Copyright © 2017 Christiana Nsiah-Asamoah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Although nutrition education for the prevention and management of hypertension is the responsibility of registered dieticians and nutritionist, nurses also play this role particularly because there are few registered dieticians. This study was conducted to assess final-year nursing students’ level of knowledge regarding the nutritional prevention and management of hypertension. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess their knowledge regarding the dietary management of hypertension. A total of 220 students completed a 21-item nutritional prevention and management of hypertension knowledge test. Results. Students’ knowledge about potential modifiable risk factors of hypertension such as excessive salt and alcohol intake was good. Less than half (44.5%) indicated that they will recommend an increased intake of potassium food sources to hypertensive patients. However, 70.5% incorrectly indicated that they will advise hypertensive patients to always read nutritional information on food items in order to avoid excessive intake of potassium in their diet. Conclusion. The results of this study indicate that there are some deficits in nursing students’ nutritional knowledge for managing hypertension. The findings suggest an urgent need to revise the nursing training curriculum in order to include practical information that can be applied by nursing students, after graduation.