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Use of Personal Digital Assistants Among Dietitians and Dietetic Students in Oklahoma: Should Programs Incorporate PDA Training Into Their Curricula?

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The objective of this study was to assess the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) among dietitians and dietetic students in Oklahoma and the desire for training in the use of PDAs. A survey was mailed to 648 dietitians and dietetic students to assess their PDA use and interest in PDA training. Frequency and percentage of responses were determined. A total of 320 usable surveys were returned, for a response rate of 49%. Sixteen percent of responders were dietetic students. The responses of students did not differ from those of dietitians, so all responses were combined. Subjects were primarily female, between 21 and 50 yrs of age, and had practiced for 5 yrs or more, similar to the demographics of dietitians nationally. Twenty-four percent of responders currently use a PDA, primarily as an organizational tool. Twenty-eight percent of the users indicated that they had received training in PDA use. Thirty-seven percent of the users were using a PDA for nutrition assessments, and 28% were using it for nutrition support. Of nonusers, 80% indicated that they would use a PDA if training were available. PDAs were used most often as an organizational tool, seldom for nutrition-specific applications. Dietitians and students expressed an interest in receiving training in PDA use, preferably from state and local dietetic associations. PDA training might also be incorporated into academic dietetic programs, and employers could provide training in the workplace.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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