What role do dietitians have in providing nutrition care for eating disorder treatment? An integrative review

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Heafala, Alana
Ball, Lauren
Rayner, Jessica
Mitchell, Lana J
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2021
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dietitians are recognised as experts in nutrition care and essential members of multidisciplinary health care teams. However, dietitians' role in caring for people with eating disorders is not well understood. This review aimed to identify, critically appraise and synthesise the current evidence exploring the views and experiences of dietitians, other health professionals, patients and carers regarding the role of dietitians in the treatment of eating disorders. METHODOLOGY: CINAHL, MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus and PsycINFO were searched in April 2020 and again in February 2021. Studies were included if they were original research; explored views and experiences of the role of dietitians in the treatment of eating disorders, including perceptions of patients, carers, and other health professionals regarding nutrition care for eating disorders; and the full text article was available in English. Title and abstract screening, full text screening, quality assessment and data extraction were completed in duplicate. Quality assessment was conducted using the Mixed Methods Assessment Tool. Thematic synthesis was used for data analysis. RESULTS: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods study designs were included. Four themes emerged inductively from the data: (i) dietitians as collaborators, educators and counsellors, (ii) dietitians individualising care and desiring a holistic approach, (iii) opportunities for dietitians to gain confidence, and (iv) experiencing nutrition care as a patient or carer. CONCLUSION: This review suggests that dietitians have a varied role in eating disorder treatment but desire further training. Understanding the training needs of dietitians can identify practice gaps and opportunities to enhance clinician confidence.

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Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
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© 2021 The British Dietetic Association Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: What role do dietitians have in providing nutrition care for eating disorder treatment? An integrative review, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 2021, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12927. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html)
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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.
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Nutrition and dietetics
dietitian
eating disorders
experience
nutrition care
patient
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Heafala, A; Ball, L; Rayner, J; Mitchell, LJ, What role do dietitians have in providing nutrition care for eating disorder treatment? An integrative review, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 2021
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