Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN)


Nutrition & Dietetics

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Nutrition & Dietetics

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea Arikawa

Second Advisor

Dr. Lauri Wright

Third Advisor

Dr. Terrance Baker

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Michael McBride

Department Chair

Dr. Lauri Wright

College Dean

Dr. Curt Lox



The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and behavior influences of Registered Dietitians (RDNs) regarding Vitamin D (VD). An electronic questionnaire served as the data collection tool developed using previously validated questions and supplemented with behavior construct questions. Content and face validity was assessed by an expert panel; internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach’s Alpha. Scores were assessed for knowledge to determine dietitian awareness and competency about VD, attitudes of RDNs regarding importance and practices around VD, and influences on RDN behavior including by other healthcare providers (HCP). Relationships between scales for knowledge, attitude and behavior were examined including the impact of demographic factors on scores. Data was collected from 541 subjects providing informed consent. RDNs were predominantly female, 92%, with good general knowledge of VD (M=84.89, SD=6.71).  Regression analysis indicated that increases in age, education and certification inversely impacted behavior scores. Younger RDNs were more influenced in VD behaviors than older RDNs; 42% of RDNs defer to other HCP and 46% defer to lead physician. Dietitians holding Bachelor or Master degrees were more likely to be influenced by others regarding VD practices than dietitians with terminal degrees of PhD or DCN. The results reveal knowledge gaps for the role of VD beyond bone health consistent with high reliance on professional guidelines using evidenced based recommendations from bone health research.

Included in

Nutrition Commons