Evaluation of Online Learning Modules for Improving Physical Activity Counseling Skills, Practices, and Knowledge of Oncology Nurses

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives:

To examine the effectiveness of online learning modules for improving physical activity counseling practices among oncology nurses.

Design:

Randomized, controlled trial.

Setting:

Online.

Sample:

54 oncology nurses.

Methods:

Oncology nurses were randomly assigned to the learning modules group or control group. The learning modules group completed six online learning modules and quizzes focused on physical activity for cancer survivors, general physical activity principles, and motivational interviewing.

Main Research Variables:

Percentage of cancer survivors counseled, self-efficacy for physical activity counseling, knowledge of physical activity, and perceived barriers and benefits of physical activity counseling.

Findings:

Analyses of covariance revealed no significant difference between the learning modules and control groups in the percentage of cancer survivors that oncology nurses counseled. Significant differences were found in self-efficacy for physical activity counseling and perceived barriers to physical activity counseling at postintervention.

Conclusions:

The online learning intervention tested in this study improved some parameters of physical activity counseling but did not increase the percentage of cancer survivors that oncology nurses counseled. Additional pilot work is needed to refine the intervention.

Implications for Nursing:

This study suggests the potential utility of an evidence-based online learning strategy for oncology nurses that includes information on physical activity and its benefits in cancer survivorship. The findings offer a framework on how to implement physical activity counseling skills in oncology nursing practice.

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