Health professionals’ views of the effectiveness of nutrition care in general practice setting
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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.
Nutrition & Dietetics
© 2012 DAA. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified