Projects per year
Aim: The present study aimed to systematically map and summarise existing research regarding dietetics workforce preparation and preparedness that has been conducted in Australia. The secondary aim was to then identify gaps in the literature to inform future priority areas in Australian dietetics education research. Methods: The databases MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, ERIC, Informit and PsycINFO were systematically searched from inception until July 2017 using key search terms to identify eligible studies. Extracted data were independently reviewed, and study quality was appraised by multiple researchers. Results were categorised by setting and primary focus/foci and then narratively summarised. Results: Sixty-eight studies were included from 3779 records identified. Dietetics education research in Australia has spanned almost 30years with more than half of studies (51%; 35/68) published in the last five years. The greatest proportion of research was conducted in the university setting (43%; 29/68), with students as participants (48%; 43/90) and was focused on the medical nutrition therapy area of dietetics practice (43%; 29/68). Published studies involving graduates (14%; 13/90); conducted in the workplace (12%; 8/68); and regarding emerging areas of dietetics practice (0%; 0/90) are lacking. Employment outcomes of dietetics graduates across Australia were last published over 25years ago. Conclusions: This review provides a map for dietetics educators and researchers in Australia to guide future research regarding the preparation and preparedness of dietitians. Advancing the Australian dietetics workforce of the future will require a strategic, coordinated and collaborative approach to address the research gaps identified in this review.