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Evaluating Online Continuing Professional Development Regarding Weight Management for Pregnancy Using the New World Kirkpatrick Model

Walker, Ruth BAppSc, GradDipEd, BND (Hons), APD; Bennett, Christie BND (Hons), APD; Kumar, Arunaz MBBS, MD, MRANZCOG, FRANZCOG; Adamski, Melissa BSc, MND, APD; Blumfield, Michelle PhD; Mazza, Danielle MD, MBBS, FRACGP, DRANZCOG, Grad Dip Women's Health, GAICD; Truby, Helen MHumNutr, RNutr, advAPD, PhD

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Summer 2019 - Volume 39 - Issue 3 - p 210–217
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000261
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Introduction: Clinical practice guidelines advocate the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) that supports health professionals (HPs) to discuss the sensitive topic of maternal weight management with women. However, there is a lack of accredited CPD related to this important area of preconception and antenatal care. Therefore, aims were to evaluate HPs' reactions to accredited online CPD regarding weight management for pregnancy and their knowledge, attitudes, confidence, and commitment to provide women with advice after completing the course.

Methods: A mixed-methods evaluation was based on the New World Kirkpatrick Model (NWKM). Accredited online CPD was developed by experts in maternal nutrition and weight management. Participants completed a questionnaire before (n = 136) and after (n = 65) the weight management components of the course. McNemar and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to evaluate paired data (n = 36) (p < .05). Deductive content analyses explored free-text responses (n = 65).

Results: Participants' reactions to the online CPD were encouraging, facilitating increases in perceptions of the importance of weight management for pregnancy and confidence to provide advice. Quantitative measures assessed no change in participants' knowledge; however, qualitative analyses revealed an increase in participants' knowledge of communication strategies that they intend to apply in practice.

Discussion: The NWKM facilitated an evaluation of HPs' encouraging reactions to online CPD and the affective constructs of education including attitudes, confidence, and commitment to provide advice. Online CPD should be developed with collaboration between universities/professional associations and health care providers, so that evaluation of organizational change and clinical outcomes is possible.

Dr. Walker: Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Research Fellow, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia. Ms. Bennett: Accredited Practicing Dietitian and PhD Candidate,Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia. Dr. Kumar: Academic Obstetrician and Gynecologist,Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia. Ms. Adamski: Accredited Practicing Dietitian and PhD Candidate,Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia. Dr. Blumfield: Accredited Practicing Dietitian,Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia. Dr. Mazza: Professor, Department of General Practice, School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Monash University, Notting Hill, VIC, Australia. Dr. Truby: Professor, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia.

Correspondence: Ruth Walker, BAppSc, GradDipEd, BND (Hons), APD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Level 1, 264 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, Victoria 3168, Australia; e-mail: ruth.walker@monash.edu.

Supported by Monash University, Australia. Monash University provided funding for the development of the Massive Open Online Course, Food as Medicine: Fertility and Pregnancy. R. Walker’s PhD was funded by an Australian Research Training Program Scholarship and the Amy and King O'Malley Trust.

Disclosures: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This project met the requirements of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and was approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (REF: 2016-0379).

Received February 04, 2019

Accepted June 05, 2019

© 2019 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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