Training on virtual patients for dietitians in Europe
What people eat has a significant impact on diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. With dietetic therapy, dietitians make a valuable contribution to the preservation of health. However, the approaches to diagnosis and therapy in dietetics differ from country to country. The EU project IMPECD (Improvement of Education and Competences in Dietetics) is therefore developing uniform standards in the form of a freely accessible online course (Massive Open Online Course – MOOC). Training will thereby be done on virtual patients. This innovative learning opportunity promotes quality in training of dietetic students and the dietetic profession as well as international exchange.
Together with universities in Antwerp (B), Fulda (D), Groningen (NL) and Neubrandenburg (D) ten virtual clinical case studies are being developed. “The examples are based on real cases, but are didactically prepared and further developed”, explains Andrea Werkman of the Hanzehogeschool in Groningen. “On the basis of experience, the project will design a uniform process model for practical work and thereby establish a foundation for improved nutrition therapy in Europe”, says Kathrin Kohlenberg-Müller from the University of Applied Sciences Fulda. The Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen is developing the didactic documents relating to the case studies led by Koen Vanherle. The uniform process model to be developed will also facilitate international exchange in the future: “It fosters the implementation of international research projects, the comparison of project and therapy results, the choice of therapies and the cross-border mobility of professionals” , says Luzia Valentini of the University Neubrandenburg.
European and national professional associations support the project as members of an expert board.