Objective: To assess dietetic students' and interns' skills to effectively apply a lifestyle-oriented nutrition-counseling model. Methods: Between 1999 and 2004, 121 dietetics students and interns (82% retained) were trained to provide nutrition counseling and certified using a standardized patient evaluation format. Supervising registered dietitians and students evaluated transcripts of their counseling sessions using a modified version of the Dietitian's Interviewing Rating Scale (DIRS). Clients evaluated their counselor's skills. t-Tests determined differences between the supervisor and student's DIRS evaluation, and from an acceptable score of "4". ANOVA distinguished differences by student academic category and client group. Results: The student counselors scored ≥4 for five of the six skills sets, but significantly below 4 for "transitions" (the internal summaries between sections). The students rated themselves significantly higher than their supervisor did on rapport building, questioning skills, and approach to plan. Conclusion: The student counselors effectively applied the skills of a lifestyle-oriented nutrition-counseling model, and can benefit from supervisor-provided feedback. Practice implications: Nutrition counseling training/practice through various dietetic curriculums can provide future dietitians with the skills and the confidence they need to successfully assist their clients to make lifestyle behavior changes.
- Counseling/interviewing evaluation
- Dietetic student training
- Holistic/whole-person nutrition counseling
ASJC Scopus subject areas