University of Hertfordshire

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By the same authors

Undertaking a research project improves confidence in research skills among student dietitians

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Documents

  • Kevin Whelan
  • Kate R Castelli
  • Camilla Trizio
  • Oliver Howard
  • Jane E Thomas
  • Angela Madden
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Early online date11 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2022

Abstract

Abstract: Background: Research is a cornerstone of evidence‐based dietetic practice. Research skills are often taught at university through experiential learning during a final‐year research project. The present study aimed to investigate attitudes towards research and confidence in research skills among student dietitians before and after a research project. 
Methods: A questionnaire survey of student dietitians’ attitudes to research and confidence in research skills was undertaken before and after completing a research project at two universities in London, UK. Dichotomous data were compared before and after the research project using a McNemar's test. Factors associated with ‘high confidence’ or ‘improved confidence’ in overall research skills at the end of the research project were investigated using multivariable logistic regression. Results: In total, 160 student dietitians completed a questionnaire before and after their research project. The majority had positive attitudes to research both before and after their research project. There was an increase in numbers with ‘high confidence’ in overall research skills before (13; 8.1%) and after (79; 49.4%) the research project (p < 0.001), and 113 (70.6%) reported ‘improved confidence’ in overall research skills. The only factor associated with ‘high confidence’ in overall research skills was having ‘high levels of involvement in the overall research process’ (odds ratio = 6.13, 95% confidence interval = 2.03–18.49, p = 0.001). 
Conclusions: Student dietitians have positive attitudes towards research and undertaking a research project significantly improves confidence in their research skills. A higher level of involvement in the research project is the single most significant factor associated with high confidence in research skills.

Notes

© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Dietetic Association. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Research outputs

ID: 26127518