Item Generation in the Development of an Interactive Nutrition Specific Physical Exam Competency Tool (INSPECT): A Qualitative Study Utilizing Technology-Based Focus Groups in the United States

Sunitha Zechariah, Leigh Ann Lehman, Jennifer L. Waller, Gianluca De Leo, Judith Stallings, Ashley J. Gess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

An alarming 30% to 50% prevalence rate of disease-related malnutrition among hospitalized patients compels the need for early diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) can utilize the nutrition-focused physical examination (NFPE) as one of the nutrition assessment criteria to accurately diagnose malnutrition. Although RDNs are striving to employ NFPE in practice, a lack of experience and adequate training impedes full utilization of this technique. This results in wide skill variations requiring continuous evaluation of RDNs' NFPE competency. However, a standardized, validated competency tool is not widely available and hence this study aims to develop a standardized, interactive nutrition-specific physical exam competency tool (INSPECT). As a first step in the development of INSPECT, a qualitative, technology-based focus group approach with 7 content and practice experts was utilized to generate appropriate tool items. A total of 70 NFPE items under 9 areas including 12 items for muscle loss, 4 items for subcutaneous fat loss, 31 items for micronutrient deficiencies, 1 item for fluid status, 2 items for handgrip strength, 5 items for initial preparation, 4 items for bedside manner, 8 items for swallowing, and 3 items for abdominal evaluation were generated. This study successfully utilized technology-based focus groups to generate appropriate NFPE items for the competency tool development. Using the items, an initial version of INSPECT has been developed, which is presently being investigated for content and face validity. The final version will undergo field tests and will be examined for reliability, validity, and item-level psychometric properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number576
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2021

Keywords

  • Competency
  • Focus groups
  • Item generation
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition-focused physical exam
  • Registered dietitian nutritionist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management

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