Confirming Deliberate Practice in Dietetics Education

Kevin Haubrick, Elaine F. Molaison, Richard Mohn, Holly Huye, Alicia S. Landry


Objective: To develop a valid and reliable instrument to define deliberate practice in dietetics education.

Design: Instrument development.

Setting: Dietetics education and supervision.

Participants: Twenty-three Registered Dietitians participated in the preliminary item tryout phase of the project and a total of 323 participants launched the instrument link for construct validation.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Fifty-five deliberate practice statements were tested for construct validation.

Analysis: Face and content validity of the instrument, along with initial reliability estimated were tested in the preliminary item tryout phase. Exploratory factor analysis was utilized to determine construct validity of the instrument.

Results: Initial reliability estimates were >.70 for most categories during the preliminary item tryout phase. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in a seven-factor solution with 32 items accounting for 59.72% of the shared variance.

Conclusion and Implications: Deliberate practice can be defined with the following characteristics: (1) opportunities to practice skills and hone knowledge; (2) experiential practice to demonstrate innate talent; (3) skills focused on a high level of patient centered nutrition care; (4) frequent and ongoing feedback; (5) reading and understanding evidence based practice literature; (6) professional education and networking opportunities; and (7) a non-judgmental learning environment where the student is free to make mistakes. (Abstract word count = 200).

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