Health professionals' views of the effectiveness of nutrition care in general practice setting

Lauren Ball*, Roger Hughes, Michael Leveritt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: The current qualitative study aimed to explore the perceptions of key health professionals relating to the effectiveness of nutrition care provided in the general practice setting. Methods: Twenty-eight health professionals across a range of disciplines (general practitioners (n = 11), practice nurses (n = 3), dieticians (n = 5), naturopaths (n = 5) and exercise physiologists (n = 4)) individually participated in a semistructured telephone interview, guided by an inquiry logic informed by the literature. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using a constant comparison approach. Results: Health professionals, including general practitioners, perceived that nutrition care provided in the general practice setting was mostly ineffective at improving patient nutrition behaviour. This was reported to be due to nutrition care competency deficits among general practitioners, a general practice reimbursement system that encourages practices inconsistent with quality nutrition care, and a low prioritisation of nutrition care in general practice. Tensions were apparent between health professional groups, which may be hindering the successful implementation of interdisciplinary nutrition care for patients with chronic disease in this setting. Conclusion: Without systematic changes to Australian primary health care model, the demand on general practitioners as primary providers of nutrition care will continue, therefore mandating support for general practitioners providing care in this context. Further research is required to identify strategies to improve nutrition care and opportunities to facilitate integrated health care provided to the general public within the general practice setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Volume70
Issue number1
Early online date26 Sep 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

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