Can Undergraduate Students Help Change Older Adults’ Confidence for Making Nutrition-Related Decisions in a 45-Minute Nutrition Workshop?
Kamran R., Coletta G., Pritchard JM.
Purpose: The Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) suggests health behaviour can be modified by enhancing knowledge of health benefits and outcome expectations of changing behaviour, improving self-efficacy (confidence), and developing goals to overcome barriers to behaviour change. This study aimed to determine the impact of student-led nutrition workshops on participants’ confidence related to SCT constructs for making dietary choices that align with evidence-based nutrition recommendations. Methods: Level-4 Science students developed and delivered 9 workshops on nutrition recommendations for the prevention and management of age-related diseases. Participants attending the workshops completed pre- and post-surveys to assess SCT constructs. For each SCT construct, participants rated their confidence on a 10-point Likert scale. The number (%) of participants who rated their confidence as ≥8/10 on the pre- and post-surveys were compared using the χ2 test. Results: Sixty-three community members (60% female, mean ± SD age 71 ± 7 years) attended the workshops. The number of participants rating confidence as ≥8/10 for each SCT construct increased after the workshops (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Undergraduate students can positively influence community members’ confidence for making nutrition-related decisions. Involving students in interventions where SCT-structured workshops are used may help conserve health care resources and reach older adults who may not have access to dietitian services.