Student dietitians' attitudes towards research and audit : a comparison with registered dietitians
Background: Student dietitians’ attitudes towards research and audit are important as they are likely to influence their subsequent involvement in such activities once qualified. The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes of student dietitians towards research and audit and to compare them with those of registered dietitians previously reported. Methods: A questionnaire survey of final-year student dietitians’ attitudes towards research and audit was conducted. Students indicated their agreement with 12 statements relating to research and audit and the results were compared with those from an identical survey of registered dietitians. Results: A total of 110 questionnaires were completed (87% response rate). In general, students had positive attitudes towards research and audit. The majority (91%) agreed that ‘all dietitians should be able to act on research’, whilst only a small minority agreed that research (6%) and audit (4%) was ‘not part of a dietitian's role’. In general, students had more positive attitudes towards research, and less positive attitudes towards audit, than dietitians from a previously published survey. Discussion: Final year student dietitians have positive attitudes towards research and audit. These should be nurtured throughout the early years of their career in order to maximize on their research potential.