Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Colleen Donegan


Background: There is conflicting evidence informing the dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. In addition, there is a lack of education regarding nutrition for medical providers. In order to effect change among the growing population of Americans at risk for CVD, there needs to be a better understanding of the knowledge and attitudes towards nutrition among providers, as well as development and implementation of an educational module with evidence-based research to guide dietary recommendations.

The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate medical providers’ (including nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) knowledge and attitudes towards nutrition for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Methods: The design of this study was a quantitative survey with additional open-ended questions evaluating medical providers’ knowledge and attitudes regarding nutrition for the prevention of CVD.

Results: Data was analyzed from a quantitative perspective, with one additional open-ended survey question. Descriptive statistics were utilized to evaluate demographic data of participants. The majority of the respondents were bachelors-prepared registered nurses (RN’s). Seventy-five percent of the sample denied having taken or received training specific to nutrition for their role. Medical providers were largely misinformed regarding the dietary steps to take to decrease CVD risk. However, they agreed that nutritional counseling was important for patients well-being. Thirty-eight percent of the sample felt confident in their ability to provide this for patients.

Conclusions: The majority of medical providers surveyed believed that nutritional approaches to prevent and treat CVD were very important, but they did not consider themselves well equipped to educate their patients about them. In addition, many medical providers had inaccurate knowledge of the steps to reduce CVD risk through diet. Educational programs need to be implemented for medical providers in order to equip them with the necessary knowledge to inform patients of the best steps to take to reduce risk of and treat CVD through dietary approaches.

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Included in

Nursing Commons