Health and nursing practice behaviors of registered nurses related to completion of health promotion/disease prevention course
Gregory, Elizabeth Kennedy
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This study was designed to examine the question: Following a 30-hour course in health promotion and disease prevention (HP/DP), do registered nurses (RNs) record a greater magnitude of change in practiced health behaviors and incorporate more HP/DP concepts in their nursing practice when compared to RNs that do not complete the course? A two-group, before-after, quasi-experimental research design was used to determine if RNs who attended a course in HP/DP increased their personal health behaviors and teaching of health behaviors to clients. The curriculum was developed by the Division of Nursing, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and it was taught at Texas Woman's University. The experimental group contained 98 course participants and the control group contained 32 colleague-selected peers. The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Curriculum: A Continuing Education Program for Nurses (1988) was the teaching treatment. The Health Risk Appraisal (Centers for Disease Control, 1981) and the Attitude Toward Health Promotion Instrument (Holcomb & Mullen, 1986) collected data on personal health behaviors of participants and the extent of HP/DP teaching in nursing practice. Demographic data sheets were also used. Data analysis for hypotheses addressing personal health behaviors, collection of health information, and teaching about health behaviors was by two-way analysis of variance. Significant (p $\le$.05) differences were found between the groups for personal health behaviors and teaching about health behaviors. It was also hypothesized that personal health behaviors would be correlated with client teaching about those health behavior practices. Chi-square analysis yielded a significant correlation between physical activity and teaching about exercise. Findings indicated that RNs who attended the course in HP/DP did record more personal health behaviors, collect more health education materials, and teach more about health behaviors than RNs who did not attend the course. The course in HP/DP developed for RNs should be offered to RNs with an expected increase in self-practices health promoting behaviors and teaching of those health behaviors to clients.