SIIReN - System Integration & Innovation Research Network

Primary Health Care System


FHT Members Opinions of Electronic-Based Dietary Assessment Programs

Principal Investigator: Paula Brauer; Co-Investigator: Carolina Bonilla


Abstract : (in progress)

It is now well established that diet plays an important role in the development of most prevalent diseases in our society. Canadian family physicians, nurses, pharmacists and registered dietitians are providing nutritional advice and nutrition counseling to their patients in primary care teams. However, a number of barriers have been identified by providers in conducting nutrition counselling in clinical settings. The use of information technology (IT) in the form of electronic dietary assessment (e-DA) tools can potentially facilitate and improve nutrition counselling in clinical settings. Objective of the study: To describe the perceptions of members working in Family Health Teams (FHTs) about the use of e-DA tools by conducting inter-disciplinary focus groups. Study design and methods: a convenience sample of health care providers including family physicians, family practice nurses, primary health care (PHC) nurse practitioners, registered dietitians and pharmacists working in FHTs in Ontario will be invited to participate in inter-disciplinary focus groups. Six to eight one-hour interdisciplinary focus groups have been planned. The Ottawa Model for Research Use (OMRU) framework for potential adopters (current practices, awareness, attitudes, knowledge and skills, and concerns) will guide the semi-structured interview. A short demographic questionnaire will be completed and an e-DA tool will be demonstrated the day of the meeting. Thematic content analysis by 2 analysts will be done using NVivo 8. . The present study will inform current dietary assessment practices in interdisciplinary teams and future steps for the implementation of e-DA tools in primary care teams to improve the adoption of healthier diets.

Key words: dietary assessment, electronic dietary assessment, primary care teams.

  • There is increasing focus on improved prevention services in primary care and technology can contribute to improved assessment, counselling and self-monitoring.

  • Canadian family physicians, nurses, pharmacists and registered dietitians in primary care are providing nutrition advice and nutrition counseling to adopt healthier diets in their patients.

  • In the area of dietetics, new electronic dietary assessment (e-DA) tools have been designed and some of them have undergone clinical trials. Some of the advantages of using e-DA tools are the more accurate dietary assessments, self-monitoring of diet over time, self-monitoring adherence in weight loss programs and reduction of costs in time and human resources for dietary analysis.

  • A number of barriers have been identified  in conducting nutrition counselling in primary care, including lack of time and human recourses, lack of providers’ knowledge and skills, and lack of nutrition-related support tools..

The perspectives of providers from inter-professional teams are needed to assess the potential role of new e-DA tools in prevention practice.  

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Paula Brauer


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