Background: We piloted an educational intervention that aimed to enhance awareness about nutrition-age-related macular degeneration (AMD) links among practising and student dietitians then expanded the scope of this intervention to include general eye health, which was delivered to pharmacy students.
Methods: A pilot intervention was conducted in 2019 at the Dietitians Australia Conference (Gold Coast, Australia) where practising and student dietitians underwent a 2-hour small group educational workshop on nutrition and AMD links. Pre-post questionnaires were administered to participants, with voluntary completion of both questionnaires an indicator of consent to participate in the intervention. The primary intervention outcome was a change in AMD-related nutrition knowledge pre-post intervention. A larger intervention was then conducted at the University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia) where pharmacy students underwent a 4-hour educational module to improve general eye health knowledge, as well as student perceptions and attitudes towards a pharmacists' role in low vision care. Similarly, pre-post questionnaires were administered, with voluntary completion of both questionnaires an indicator of consent to participate in the intervention. The primary intervention outcomes were changes in total knowledge, total perception and total attitude scores pre-post intervention.
Results: (1) Among 10 accredited and 5 student dietitians, there was significant overall knowledge improvement (mean pre-post score: 7.07 ± 1.94 vs. 10.8 ± 1.01, p = 0.001) specifically around appropriate dietary advice, food sources of key AMD-related nutrients, and awareness of supplements. (2) Among 179 second-year pharmacy students enrolled in the 'Pharmacy Practice' Unit of Study (Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Sydney), total eye health knowledge (6.25 ± 1.93 vs. 6.64 ± 2.0; p = 0.011) significantly improved, along with total perception scores (41.54 ± 5.26 vs. 42.45 ± 4.95; p = 0.004). Total attitude scores were not significantly different.
Conclusions: The pilot intervention improved relevant nutrition-AMD knowledge among practising/student dietitians. The modified intervention for pharmacy students also significantly improved general eye health knowledge as well as students' perception of a pharmacists' role in low vision care.
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- age-related macular degeneration
- eye health