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The public health nutrition workforce has been reported to be underprepared for practice. The present study aimed to test the ability of an unfolding case study approach to support the public health nutrition workforce for the workplace, with a focus on improved access to nutritious food.
Two unfolding case studies were trialled with undergraduate students in two-hour workshops to enhance their capability to address access to nutritious food as a social determinant of health. The approach provided information about the case using a staged approach that supported learners to review and reply to information and then continue this process as the case became increasingly complex.
Thirty-eight undergraduate nutrition and dietetics students.
The analysis revealed that the unfolding case study approach provided a place to challenge and deepen knowledge and think about the application of theory. As the cases developed and became more challenging, students were supported to consider appropriate approaches and recognised the constant evolution and dynamic nature of practice.
This learning activity challenged students and supported deep learning about possible solutions. It may also be useful at a graduate level and for continuous education of nutritionists and/or dietitians to empower the workforce to address the social determinants of health, rather than just acknowledging them as a set of barriers that prevent people and communities from achieving optimal health. Further work is required to investigate how unfolding case studies in curricula shape preparedness for practice of public health nutrition.
To investigate the psychometric properties, validity and reliability of a newly developed measure of food insecurity, the Household Food and Nutrition Security Survey (HFNSS), among an Australian population.
Metropolitan areas of Melbourne, Australia, identified as very high, high or medium vulnerability in the 2008 Vulnerability Assessment for Mortgage, Petrol and Inflation Risks and Expenditure index.
A convenience sample of 134 adults (117 females and fifteen males, aged over 18 years).
Rasch modelling and factor analysis identified four items for exclusion. The remaining items yielded excellent reliability among the current sample and assessed three underlying components: the adult experience of food insecurity (component one), initial/periodic changes to children’s food intakes (component two) and progressive/persistent decreases in children’s food intakes (component three). Compared with the widely used US Department of Agriculture Food Security Survey Module, the HFNSS identified a significantly higher proportion of food insecurity; this is likely due to the HFNSS’s identification of food insecurity due to reasons other than (and including) limited financial access.
The HFNSS may be a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of food insecurity among the Australian population and provides a means of assessing multiple barriers to food security beyond poor financial access (which has been identified as a limitation of other existing tools). Future research should explore the validity and reliability of the tool among a more representative sample, as well as specifically among vulnerable population subgroups.
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