The purpose of this study was to assess continuing education needs for registered dietitians regarding application of the science of nutritional genomics in clinical settings. A cross-sectional survey was mailed to a random national sample of 2,500 registered dietitians with a 40% response rate (n=995). The survey assessed knowledge; attitudes related to benefits and barriers to application; perceptions of consumer motivators and barriers; attitudes regarding ethical, legal, and social issues; and preferences for continuing education. Differences were determined according to year of registration using nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis tests. Survey respondents had little previous exposure to nutrigenomics, had not applied nutrigenomics in their practice in the past year, and were not confident in their ability to apply nutrigenomics in a clinical setting, but were interested in learning more about its application. Few differences existed in attitudes about benefits and barriers to application of nutrigenomics by year of registration. The most favored learning activity for continuing education was seminars/workshops. The most important content areas for continuing education were foundational knowledge, application, and communication to the lay public. Continuing education should focus on these content areas to allow application based on the supporting science and ways to effectively communicate the information to consumers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this project was obtained from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.