Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science


Nutrition and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Alison Tovar


Background: Nurses are often overlooked as resources for childhood obesity prevention efforts. Although some studies have focused on educating nurses about obesity prevention, few have included training in motivational interviewing (MI). The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot a nutrition and MI curriculum and assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy with undergraduate nursing students.

Methods: The curriculum included three 2.5-hour sessions and one follow-up session. Using a non-experimental pre-post study design, nutrition and MI knowledge, self-efficacy, and curriculum satisfaction were evaluated via self-reported surveys. During the follow-up session, participants practiced their MI skills with a trained standardized patient, and all practice sessions were video recorded. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, paired sample t-tests, Wilcoxon signed rank test, and MI proficiency was assessed using MITI 3.3.1 coding.

Results: All 13 participants were seniors in an undergraduate nursing program and identified as non-Hispanic, White and were on average 22 years of age. Results showed a statistically significant increase in nutrition knowledge (pre: 18.6±2.1, post: 20.5±2.5; p=0.003). Results showed there was a statistically significant increase in self-efficacy (pre: 3, post: 4; p=0.002), and 9 participants obtained beginning MI proficiency in at least one category. The majority of participants reported being very (63.6%) or extremely (9.1%) satisfied with the curriculum and training.

Conclusion: This pilot improved nutrition knowledge and self-efficacy related to MI, although some changes are required to improve the curriculum for future use. Given that nurses play important roles in both school and healthcare settings, developing effective childhood obesity prevention training curriculums for them is crucial.



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