Nurses' Body Size and Public Confidence in Ability to Provide Health Education

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Abstract

Purpose

To replicate research about confidence level in receiving health teaching from either an overweight or a weight-appropriate RN.

Methods

A quasi-experimental post-test only design was used. Participants were randomly assigned to be shown images of a nurse, either overweight or weight-appropriate, then asked to rate their confidence in health teaching received from that nurse. Descriptive statistics, t test for independent samples, and covariate analyses were performed.

Results

A significant difference in confidence p=0.000 was noted between participants who viewed the image of a weight-appropriate nurse and participants who viewed the image of an overweight nurse.

Conclusions

Weight-appropriate nurses may inspire more confidence in their teaching. Further study is indicated to explore the implications of these findings for practice.

Clinical Relevance

Nurses need to be conscious of clients' perceptions of weight when planning teaching interventions.

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