Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Barbara M. Prater


Barbara M. Prater


Bonita Wyse


Julie Landeen


The purpose of this study was to develop and test a Learning Package on nutritional counseling principles in diabetes mellitus with specific application for adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes. The Learning Package was designed to be used as continuing education material for the clinical dietitian. It consisted of two audio tapes, 2 1/2 hours in length, recorded by the author and an accompanying handbook or resourcebook. The resourcebook materials were designed to give further details, provide resources and materials for future reference, visually reinforce the audio presentation, summarize information given in the presentation, and give a bibliography of the references cited. The presentation was divided into four sections: Guidelines for Education of Individuals with Diabetes Mellitus; Educational Program Planning in a Health Care Agency; The Adolescent with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes; The Educator-Client Interaction.

Following initial formative evaluations, the Learning Package was field tested in a seminar for practicing clinical dietitians held in three locations with several subjects completing the test in the home setting. Pre and posttest scores and attitudes of the participants towards the Guidelines and Learning Package were collected and are reported. Suggestions for improvement of the Learning Package and demographic data were also collected and are reported. Only 13.8% of the subjects met the 90% criterion as determined on the posttest. There was improvement from both forms of the pretests to the posttest. Tests of statistical significance were not conducted. Participants indicated acceptance of the Learning Package as a continuing education tool and of the Guidelines as of practical value to them in their practices.

Recommendations are made for improvement and revision of the Learning Package and final (summative) evaluation and testing before packaging and distribution by the American Dietetic Association. It is concluded that the Learning Package is acceptable to practitioners and, with the suggested revisions, can meet the continuing education needs of dietitians to improve nutritional education of persons with diabetes, as identified in the literature.