Date of Award

Summer 5-2023

Document Type





Dr. Deana Batross, DNP, APRN-CNP, PMHNP

First Committee Member

Dr. Chai Sribanditmongkol, PhD, RN, IBCLC, CNS

Second Committee Member

Dr. Joy Shoemaker, DNP, APRN, CNP, FNP-BC, CNE


Perinatal, Nutrition, Pregnancy, Antenatal, Obesity, Confidence

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences



Obesity continues to increase at unprecedented levels and warrants immediate provider attention at the perinatal level to improve the health of the present and future generations. Reduction of this condition can reduce risk factors leading to morbidity and mortality. Guidelines exist for the prevention and management of obesity, yet little focus is placed on prevention in the perinatal population. Lack of consistent and healthy lifestyle in the perinatal population has the potential to not only place the mother at risk for obesity but also her unborn child. The overall purpose of the scholarly project is to identify any potential healthcare professional knowledge deficits and confidence in providing nutritional counseling to pregnant women who are at risk for obesity during the perinatal period. The specific aim of the project is to assess and identify the healthcare professional knowledge and perceived confidence in providing nutritional counseling and resources to patients receiving care in perinatal care settings. Conducting a needs assessment will provide the necessary insight for the project team to identify and understand where the deficits exist to develop recommendations, which may affect healthcare professional knowledge and perceived confidence in providing nutritional counseling to this perinatal population at risk for obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Recent studies have revealed that healthcare providers do not feel adequately prepared to provide nutritional counseling to the perinatal population. The research studies elaborate that healthcare professionals report their lack of knowledge and confidence stems from little to no specific didactic on perinatal nutrition during their schooling. Other studies indicate that there is limited if any specific training on evidenced-based nutritional education at their place of employment. Additional studies expand on this matter stating that healthcare professionals do not feel adequately prepared to educate perinatal patients due lack of regular education competencies where they are employed. Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model will drive the project with the overarching goal of health promotion in conjunction with the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. To propel change an implementation plan was devised to assist the healthcare professionals who provide nutritional education to the perinatal population. A 15-question survey was created to evaluate the knowledge and confidence of the medical assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and obstetricians regarding nutritional guidance in the perinatal population in four Appalachian Federally Qualified Health Care Centers. Based on the findings from the needs assessment, recommendations were provided to assist in the developing future education for the healthcare professionals who provide education to the perinatal population. The data will be analyzed utilizing the analysis of variance method. The results from the data will identify the areas of inadequacy and need for healthcare professionals. They can be utilized by other practices providing perinatal nutritional counseling to ensure the education they provide is evidence-based and up-to-date. Identifying the deficiencies in nutritional counseling will allow the organization to seek out further education to improve the education they are providing to their patients.

Keywords: perinatal, nutrition, pregnancy, evidence-based, antenatal, obesity, healthcare provider knowledge, confidence

Acknowledgement 2


Licensing Permission

Copyright, some rights reserved. Attribution – Noncommercial – No Derivative Works

Fry-BatrossFSPPoster.pdf (493 kB)



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