Dietitians routinely use written resources in their practice. Information about the development of individual dietetic resources is occasionally published but little is known about how dietitians develop and quality assure their resources.
Research question:
What processes do dietitians use to develop evidence-based resources?
An online questionnaire was developed through discussion with students and experienced dietitians and piloted. The final questionnaire comprised 20 questions investigating development processes, quality checks and respondents’ demographics, and was hosted on a secure platform (project-RedCap.org). Email invitations to dietitians and students were sent to departments in Ireland and England. Narrative responses were described thematically and categorical answers were expressed as a percentage of each question’s responses. Ulster University granted ethical approval and participants gave consent.
Forty-seven participants responded (Northern Ireland, 19; Republic of Ireland, 18; England, 10) and comprised 45 dietitians and two students. The resources they developed were aimed at dietitians (45%), the public (n=42%), or other healthcare professionals (13%). The time required for evidence collection ranged from 1 hour to >1 year. Most resources had no specific budget (84%) and no service-users contributed to development (68%). Language accessibility and checking processes were reported by 36% of participants. The most frequently reported essential aspects required for resource development were evidence, accessible language and being patient-focussed.
The essential aspects most frequently described by participants to develop resources, i.e. using evidence, accessibility and tailoring to patients’ needs, are fundamental to Irish and UK dietetic professional standards. These standards also cover service user involvement and communication. The importance of involving others in development and accessibility were reported but most participants did not involve service-users or describe the processes used to check accessibility. Future research to explore the reasons for these findings would be help identify how practice in resource development could be optimised.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Congress of Nutrition and Dietetics 2024
Place of PublicationToronto, Canada
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Nov 2023


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