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Feasibility of face-to-face and online learning methods to provide nutrition education to midwives, general practice nurses and student nurses
  1. Catherine Jane Lucas1,
  2. Ellen Lyell1,
  3. Britney Koch1,
  4. Victoria Elder2,
  5. Leanne Cummins2,
  6. Sarah Lambert3,
  7. Anne T McMahon4 and
  8. Karen E Charlton1,5
  1. 1Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Maternity and Women’s Health, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Catherine Jane Lucas; cjl623{at}


Midwives and general practice nurses are ideally positioned to provide nutrition education to pregnant women. However, it appears that they do not receive sufficient nutrition training to enable them to fulfil this role. This study aimed to develop, implement and evaluate a suite of learning resources developed specifically for midwives, general practice nurses and student nurses. A four-module suite of learning resources was developed based on recommendations in the Australian Antenatal Care Clinical Guidelines as well as formative evaluation with stakeholders. The feasibility of these modules was tested using a pre-test and post-test quasi-experimental design with three arms using convenient sampling (face-to-face with midwives; online with student nurses; and online with midwives, nurses and practice nurses). Completion rates across the three study arms were poor (n=40 participants in total). For the combined data, there was a significant increase in knowledge scores across all modules from the pretest score (median (IQR): 3.46 (2.09–4.13)) to the post-test score (5.66 (4.66–6.00)) (p<0.001). Studies of high quality are required to determine if changing the nutrition knowledge and confidence in delivering nutrition care of health professionals results in sustainable changes to their clinical practice.

  • nutrition education
  • pregnancy
  • midwife
  • nurse
  • continuing professional development

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  • Contributors KEC, ATM and CJL were responsible for conceptualisation and study design, as well as content development of the learning materials. EL and BK were responsible for translating the face-to-face workshops into the online learning modules, with support and guidance from SL. CJL facilitated the face-to-face workshops, with support and guidance from VE and LC. EL and BK facilitated the online modules.

  • Funding This research has been conducted with the support of the Australian Government Research Training Program scholarship and the University of Wollongong Global Challenges PhD top-up scholarship received by CJL.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was granted by the University of Wollongong and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Health and Medical Human Research Ethics Committee (HE15-120).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.

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