PURPOSE: The U.S. healthcare system is overwhelmed by diet- and lifestyle-related diseases and, increasingly, provider burnout. (1,2) Most health professionals receive inadequate education around lifestyle-based health promotion, the impact of food choices on one’s health and strategies for personal wellbeing. (3) Over the course of health professions training programs, students often experience growing rates of burnout themselves. (4, 5) To meet these challenges, a Chef/MPH and integrative medicine physician developed “Food Matters for Health Professionals,” a brief, experiential, interprofessional cooking and nutrition course aimed at equipping healthcare professionals and students with self- and patient-care skills. We measured outcomes around personal wellbeing as well as knowledge, confidence and skills in nutrition and culinary competencies. METHODS: The course presents an evidence-based nutrition curriculum, and includes hands-on preparation of plant-forward recipes made with locally-sourced, sustainably-produced ingredients. Themes covered include the importance of provider self-care, mindful eating and a review of the literature around the impact of dietary patterns on health outcomes. Participants included students in graduate health professions programs and practicing healthcare providers. An optional, de-identified survey was given pre- and post-course; only participants who completed both were included in data analysis. The survey included questions on culinary and nutrition knowledge, personal wellbeing and food habits, and clinical application of the material. Paired t tests were conducted to compare participants’ pre- and post-survey responses. RESULTS: Course participants (n=18) showed statistically significant (p< 0.05) changes between the pre- and post-surveys in budgeting time to eat and prepare nutritionally balanced meals, stocking a kitchen with staple items, use of plant-forward foods and improved personal wellbeing. Additional positive changes included greater knowledge of the nutritional quality of food choices, ability to describe macronutrient composition in foods and discuss major dietary patterns in a clinical setting, and confidence to adapt recipes to suit various health conditions. CONCLUSIONS A positive change in personal wellbeing and nutrition habits was observed after a brief, experiential cooking and nutrition course. Additionally, skills were acquired which have the potential to translate into improvements in sustained provider wellbeing and the management of lifestyle-related chronic diseases in clinical settings. (1) CDC: About Chronic Diseases: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm (2) West et al. Journal of Internal Medicine, 2018 (3) Devries et al. The American Journal of Medicine, 2014 (4) Rudman and Gustavsson, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 2012. (5) IsHak W. et al. The Clinical Teacher, 2013. Full citations available upon request.
A Recipe for Wellbeing: Improving Provider Wellbeing, Eating Habits and Nutrition Knowledge Through a Brief Experiential Cooking Course
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Kate Shafto, Jenny Breen, Qi Wang, Kelsey Simmons; A Recipe for Wellbeing: Improving Provider Wellbeing, Eating Habits and Nutrition Knowledge Through a Brief Experiential Cooking Course. Pediatrics July 2020; 146 (1_MeetingAbstract): 250–251. 10.1542/peds.146.1MA3.250
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