Cancer malnutrition is associated with increased health service costs and poorer patient outcomes. A cancer malnutrition eLearning program was developed for multidisciplinary clinicians in 2014, as part of the Malnutrition in Victorian Cancer Services program, to address clinician education needs. The eLearning program is freely available through the eviQEd website. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in improving clinician knowledge and promote program uptake.
Surveys were embedded in the eLearning program at three time-points - pre-completion, immediately following, and 6-months following completion - to measure change and retention of user knowledge and practice relating to malnutrition. Key stakeholders were engaged to develop a plan to promote uptake of the eLearning program.
At time of evaluation there were 205 national and international registered users, 55% dietitians, 38% nurses and 3% radiation therapists. Following completion of the program, the proportion of participants reporting very good or excellent knowledge of cancer malnutrition increased by 63% (from 26% pre- to 89% post-completion) and was retained after 6-months. Participant familiarity with malnutrition screening tools improved from pre- to immediately post-program and this knowledge further improved at 6-months post (65%, 87% and 94% respectively). Increased nutrition risk screening practices were reported by participants after program completion (screening of patients at presentation increased from 58% to 82% 6 months post). A suite of promotional material was developed, including a promotional video targeted at health service executives highlighting the impact of malnutrition on patients and the cost to health services, and the capacity of the eLearning program to improve clinician and organisational practices.
The Malnutrition in Cancer eLearning program is an effective platform to improve and sustain clinician knowledge and practice related to malnutrition. Strategies to further promote clinician and organisation uptake have been developed and dissemination is underway.