The development and implementation of a training package for dietitians on cow’s milk protein allergy in infants and children based on UK RCPCH competencies for food allergies – a pilot study

Liane Reeves, Rosan Meyer, Judith Holloway, Carina Venter

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Abstract

Background - Many food allergy guidelines have been published worldwide over recent years. The United Kingdom National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health food allergy care pathways require dietitians to assist with the diagnosis and management of food allergies, which highlighted the need for further education of dietitians to meet these competencies. The aim of this study was to design a competence based one day education course for dietitians on the diagnosis and management of cow’s milk protein allergy in infants and children.

Methods - A one day training course was developed. Dietitians’ knowledge was assessed via multiple choice questions before and on the day of the course and retention of knowledge was assessed one month after the course. Pre course reading was given once the first assessment was completed.

Results - Thirty seven dietitians attended the course and 32 completed all three assessments. A significant improvement in assessment scores was seen between the pre course and on the day assessments of 7.2% (p < 0.001) and between pre course and post course assessments of 8.9% (p < 0.001). In delegates who rated their perceived level of knowledge as high, a significant increase was seen between pre course and on the day and between pre course and post course (both p < 0.001). Actual increase in knowledge was seen alongside a significant increase in high rating of perceived level of confidence between pre course and on the day and between pre course and post course (both p < 0.001).

Conclusions - Educating dietitians using the format of one day teaching with pre and post course assessment has improved both knowledge and competencies in the diagnosis and management of cow’s milk protein allergy. Further courses in other areas of food allergy could be developed using this approach within the UK and worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalClinical and Translational Allergy
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • competencies
  • cow's milk protein allergy
  • dietitian
  • training

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