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Nutrition knowledge of clinic nurses in Lebowa, South Africa: implications for nutrition services delivery

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Background: Nutrition-related health problems are prevalent in South Africa, particularly in the black communities in the Homelands and black rural areas. Lebowa, one of the Homelands in the Northern Transvaal province, has inadequate nutrition services, without qualified nutrition professionals. The responsibility of nutrition care in Lebowa rests with clinic or community health nurses, who have limited nutrition training.

Aim: To determine the current nutrition knowledge of clinic nurses in Lebowa.

Method: Clinic nurses (n=99) in Lebowa answered a 40-item nutrition knowledge test (NKT) and five demographic questions.

Results: The general performance of the clinic nurses on the NKT was poor, 14±3.8 (35%) answers correct, with scores ranging from 4 to 25 (10% to 63%) answers correct.

Conclusion: Considering the responsibility the nurses are entrusted with regarding nutrition care, the current nutrition knowledge of clinic nurses is a cause for concern. The results of this study provide a basis for nutrition education efforts directed at community health nurses.

Keywords: Lebowa (South Africa); clinic nurses; nutrition education; nutrition knowledge

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: , State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 2: , Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 1997


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