Frequency and confidence of healthcare practitioners in encountering and addressing nutrition-related issues

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Allied Health






© 2016 Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, Wash., DC. OBJECTIVE: Identify the frequency of nutrition issues encountered by healthcare professionals and their confidence in addressing these issues. METHODS: A survey designed to assess the frequency and type of nutrition issues most often encountered in practice of a variety of healthcare professionals and the practitioners' confidence in addressing nutrition issues was developed and distributed to 5,729 graduates from an academic medical center. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables. Logistic regression models were used to find predictors of confidence. RESULTS: The final response rate was 17.2% (n=987). The most common nutrition-related problems encountered included obesity (43.8%), diabetes mellitus (43%), and cardiovascular disease (37.1%). Nutrition issues were encountered daily or weekly by 70.5% of healthcare providers, but only 24.8% felt "very confident" in addressing nutrition issues. Significant predictors of confidence included number of years working, more frequent nutritionrelated encounters, and nutrition education in professional programs. CONCLUSION: Healthcare practitioners encounter nutrition issues frequently in practice and often do not have a high level of confidence in addressing these issues.

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