Multi-School Collaboration to Develop and Test Nutrition Computer Modules for Pediatric Residents

Patricia L. Roche, Mary R. Ciccarelli, Sandeep K. Gupta, Barbara M. Hayes, Jean P. Molleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The provision of essential nutrition-related content in US medical education has been deficient, despite efforts of the federal government and multiple professional organizations. Novel and efficient approaches are needed. A multi-department project was developed to create and pilot a computer-based compact disc instructional program covering the nutrition topics of oral rehydration therapy, calcium, and vitamins. Funded by an internal medical school grant, the content of the modules was written by Department of Pediatrics faculty. The modules were built by School of Informatics faculty and students, and were tested on a convenience sampling of 38 pediatric residents in a randomized controlled trial performed by a registered dietitian/School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Master's degree candidate. The modules were reviewed for content by the pediatric faculty principal investigator and the registered dietitian/School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences graduate student. Residents completed a pretest of nutrition knowledge and attitude toward nutrition and Web-based instruction. Half the group was given three programs (oral rehydration therapy, calcium, and vitamins) on compact disc for study over 6 weeks. Both study and control groups completed a posttest. Pre- and postintervention objective test results in study vs control groups and attitudinal survey results before and after intervention in the study group were compared. The experimental group demonstrated significantly better posttrial objective test performance compared to the control group (P=0.0005). The study group trended toward improvement, whereas the control group performance declined substantially between pre- and posttests. Study group resident attitudes toward computer-based instruction improved. Use of these computer modules prompted almost half of the residents in the study group to independently pursue relevant nutrition-related information. This inexpensive, collaborative, multi-department effort to design a computer-based nutrition curriculum positively impacted both resident knowledge and attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1586-1589
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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