Influence of an innovative game on nutrition education for nursing students

Huei-Lih Hwang, Chin-Tang Tu, Chiashan Wu, Tian-Yuan Kuo


Background and objective: The growing global burden of individuals with malnutrition shows no signs of decreasing. Schools are an important arena for health promotion. This study is to develop and to test the innovative game with Good Food cards designed to enable students to acquire knowledge in healthy eating and other influence on their eating behaviors as well as nursing role in dietary education.

Methods: Design: A mixed method design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the game. We conducted pretest-posttest quasi-equivalent groups with cluster sampling design and recruited 109 students at two sites of health center. The game intervention was implemented in two to four 20- to 30-minute sessions for 55 junior nursing students. Method: Univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed to compare knowledge change between the two groups. Additionally, a focus group was performed to collect data from students. Audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed were conducted by researchers. Correlation analysis was used to was used to explore factors related to the concept and behavior intention.

Results: The knowledge on healthy diet was significantly higher in the experimental group compared to the control group. Effective learning experiences and intention to change eating behaviors were also perceived by participants.

Conclusions: The Good Food cards and game mechanism matched the learning objectives of the dietary education. Gaming is a valid learning strategy not just a fun activity. During nursing practicum period, students who are familiar with healthy diet concept perceived the help to facilitate therapeutic relationship building with clients and more willingness to change eating habits. More research is needed to test other children, students, or adult population with this card. Also, factors related to concept and behavior change from playing with this card can be investigated to strengthen students’ competence and focusing more strongly on how best to influence students’ healthy dietary behavior.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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