Research Showcase Abstracts

Explore abstracts from CFDR’s annual research showcase at the DC Conference.

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Early Bird
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors (2022 and Later)
S. Rowan 1,
J. Saltsman 1,
J. Hoard 1,
F. Wan 1,
H. Toews 1,2,
C. O'Connor 1
1 Brescia Unversity College, London, ON
2 Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON
Identifying learning needs of dietetic students and support needs of preceptors prior to participating in a pediatric placement
Undergraduate dietetics programs build a solid foundation of knowledge for future nutrition professionals. Nutrition needs throughout the lifecycle are addressed; however a review of course outlines from undergraduate dietetic programs in Ontario, Canada displayed a primary focus on the nutritional considerations of adults with brief or insufficient pediatric course topics. This learning gap may place dietetic students at a disadvantage when pursuing a placement or career in pediatrics.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
This study aimed to identify learning needs of dietetic students prior to participating in a pediatric placement.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
A systematic search of peer-reviewed and grey literature was conducted according to PRISMA-ScR guidelines in October 2021 and repeated May 2022. Studies met the following criteria: English language, published from 2006-2022, materials focused on nutrition and dietetic student learning needs and included perspectives from the student, preceptor or educator.
In total, 25 articles were identified. Two themes emerged identifying specific learning needs of dietetic students and preceptor identified learning or support needs. Dietetic students feel more confident and prepared for practicum after engaging in learning opportunities which include simulated patients, objective structured clinical examinations, and virtual simulations. In contrast, it is evident that dietetic students preferred active experimentation, case-based and communication skill learning. For dietitians, barriers to precepting included lack of time and incentives, stress, and insufficient training.
This review outlined many learning strategies acceptable to dietetic students which would enhance the curriculum. Further, it is clear there is a need for enhanced support/resources for preceptors to help improve placement experiences. However, the lack of research on learning needs for pediatric practice must be addressed to ensure effective preparation of competent pediatric-focused dietitians.
Significance to Dietetics
The learning strategies identified should be implemented with a pediatric focus in dietetic curriculums. Further, preceptors appear to require more support from the institutions.
Funded by
No funding to report.

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