Author

Jenna Eckl

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Department

Nursing

Thesis Committee Chairperson

Diane Ryan, PhD, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, CNE

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health problem that is often under-diagnosed and under-treated. Contradictory vitamin D research and conflicting recommendations by several leading organizations may leave patients vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. With specialized training in health promotion and disease prevention, nurse practitioners play an important role in the prevention, early diagnosis, and management of vitamin D deficiency. Utilizing the Neuman System Model as a theoretical framework, this study was developed to examine nurse practitioners’ knowledge regarding the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency in the adult patient, as well as explore nurse practitioners’ attitudes toward the role of vitamin D intake and supplementation in health promotion and disease prevention. An invitation to participate in this descriptive, correlational study was emailed to 3, 490 nurse practitioner members of the New York State Nurse Practitioner Association and/or Western New York Chapter to assess their knowledge and attitudes. Participants were asked to complete a self-developed questionnaire based on the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D deficiency (Holick et al., 2011). Although the response rate was less than 5%, this survey highlighted that there were gaps in knowledge, especially regarding treatment and prevention strategies for vitamin D deficiency. An important finding of this study was that only 17.5% of participants indicated they were familiar with the Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline for vitamin D deficiency. Nurse practitioners must be familiar with clinical practice guidelines regarding vitamin D deficiency in order to provide high-quality care and improve clinical outcomes. Future research using larger and more representative samples would add to the generalizability of these findings.

Included in

Nursing Commons

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