Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the USA, and malnutrition secondary to cancer progression and treatment side effects is common. While abundant evidence indicates that nutrition support improves patient outcomes, it is estimated that up to half of malnutrition cases are misclassified or undiagnosed. The use of a multidisciplinary team to assess nutrition status has been observed previously to reduce delays in nutritional support. Hence, educating all members of the oncology healthcare team to assess nutrition status may encourage earlier diagnosis and lead to improved patient outcomes. Thus, the objective was to perform a pilot study to assess change in knowledge and self-efficacy among oncology team members after watching an educational video about malnutrition.
A pre-test post-test educational video intervention was given to 77 ambulatory oncology providers during weekly staff meetings at a community ambulatory oncology center in central Illinois. Change in knowledge and self-efficacy in malnutrition assessment and diagnosis was measured and acceptability of the brief educational video format was also observed.
Mean test scores improved by 1.95 ± 1.48 points (p < 0.001). Individual occupational groups improved scores significantly (p ≤ 0.005) except for specialty clinical staff. Self-efficacy improved from 38 to 70%. 90.8% of participants indicated the educational video improved their confidence in assessing malnutrition.
The educational video was well accepted and improved knowledge and self-efficacy of malnutrition assessment and diagnosis among ambulatory oncology providers. Wider implementation of such an educational intervention and longitudinal testing of knowledge retention and behaviors change is warranted.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Dietetic Internship Program, including Jessica Madson, PhD, RD, the UIUC Dietetic Internship Program Director. The authors would also like to thank the entire staff at Carle Foundation Hospital Cancer Center who made this study possible, especially Jason Hirschi, Betsy Barnick, Michelle Sedberry, Courtney Cox, Ashley White, Tammie Heiser, Melanie Grigsby, and Stephanie Grote. Permission was provided by all those acknowledged.
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Wolf, P.G., Manero, J., Harold, K.B. et al. Educational video intervention improves knowledge and self-efficacy in identifying malnutrition among healthcare providers in a cancer center: a pilot study. Support Care Cancer 28, 683–689 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-04850-w
- Educational video
- Training video
- ASPEN guidelines