• Utility of a Nutrition Education Web Site to Supplement Prenatal Care

      Wierwille, Lauren (2011)
      Objective: Prenatal nutrition education is lacking in the clinic during routine prenatal care due to a myriad of barriers including decline in provider knowledge, time limitations during visits, and insurance constraints for dietician and nutritionist referrals. Online resources are an effective way to reduce such barriers to prenatal education by providing a flexible and available source of information. The purpose of this evidence translation project was to develop, implement, and evaluate the utility and uptake of a prenatal nutrition education Web site in the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) outpatient clinics as a supplement to routine prenatal care. Methods: This project used a single group, post-test only, non-experimental descriptive design to evaluate the utility and uptake of a prenatal nutrition education Web site entitled "Pregnancy Nutrition for Healthy Babies" in the UMMS clinics. Twenty prenatal care clinicians were recruited to participate using convenience sampling. The Diffusion of Innovations (001) theory by Everett Rogers was the foundation for implementing the Web site into the clinics. Data were collected from surveys completed by clinicians after they had incorporated the Web site into their prenatal care practices for approximately one month in order to evaluate their experience with utilizing the site as a supplementary nutrition education tool. Results: The snowball effect occurred and resulted in 19 clinician respondents who completed an anonymous and confidential survey to evaluate the utility of the Web site in the clinic based on five domains of the 001 model. An average of 81 patients were seen per week by the providers, and about 95% of the providers referred more than half of these patients to the Web site. Likewise, approximately 95% of the providers said that more than half of their referred patients engaged in further discussion about nutrition-related topics following the referral. The mean overall utility of the Web site in the clinic was determined to be 4.28 on a 5-point Likert scale. Based on the responses provided, the Web site was perceived to have a relative advantage mean of 4.03, a compatibility mean of 3.71, a complexity mean of 4.05, an observability mean of 3.81, and a trialability mean of 3.95. In totality, 89.5% of clinicians said that the "Prenatal Nutrition for Healthy Babies" Web site was a tool that they would regularly refer their prenatal care patients to for nutrition education, Conclusion: Internet Web sites can be effective tools for increasing prenatal nutrition education as supplements to routine prenatal care. The utility and uptake of a prenatal nutrition education Web site was found to be favorable in the UMMS outpatient clinics. The results were consistent with the evidence for increased utility and uptake of Web-based innovations within organizations when implementation is based on the 001 theory.