Wellness Diet Class. Effective Patient Education, Effective RD Time

M. B. Gillingham, K. Vance, C. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditionally the Registered Dietitian (RD) in a clinical setting has responded to consultation requests for nutrition education by offering bedside counseling. Changes in health care are forcing progressive organizations to challenge the status quo and pursue ways to offer quality educational programs while streamlining RD time. In our large midwestern acute care facility, and average of 8 to 10 consults are received daily for Wellness diet education in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Population (CRP). An evaluation of three teaching methods was conducted to determine the optimal means of providing high quality education to the CRP. The test groups were: patients attending a standardized group class taught by the RD(C), patients receiving individual diet counseling by the RD (I), and patients who were instructed via a Wellness diet video with no RD intervention(V). In addition, reliability was established in the study design by surveying a control group from the general inpatient population. The control group (R) received no Wellness education during the course of their hospitalization. All groups completed a 10 question, multiple-choice post-test that was used to assess their Wellness diet knowledge. After scoring post-tests, variance was analyzed using a one-way ANOVA (p≤ .05). The total number of patients surveyed was 158. Average scores are as follows: C = 85 (n=42). I = 83 (n=34), V = 73.5 (n=40), R = 70 (n=42). Based on the significant differences indicated by the ANOVA, Student's T tests were run to analyze group differences (p≤.05). C and I group scores were significantly higher than V and R group scores. The results of the post-test scores demonstrate that the group class is as effective as individualized education in communicating Wellness diet concepts to the CRP. Learning by video produces poor comprehension, and when compared to the control group is only slightly better than no intervention at all. Moreover, these patients outcomes suggest that the presence of the RD in either a group or individual session is critical to a successful transfer of working knowledge and skills required for long-term compliance. This study validates the use of the group instruction method as a high quality, cost effective use of RD time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A49
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number9 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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