A preliminary qualitative exploration of dietitians' engagement with genetics and nutritional genomics: Perspectives from international leaders

Sherly X. Li, Jorja Collins, Stephanie Lawson, Jane Thomas, Helen Truby, Kevin Whelan, Claire Palermo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This qualitative study explored the underlying determinants of dietitians' current practice and attitudes about nutritional genomics. METHODS: Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with international leaders selected across each domain of dietetics practice from Australia (n=8) and the United Kingdom (n=8). Interviews explored knowledge, involvement, perceived role, and attitudes about the benefits and barriers of genetics and nutritional genomics. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Five key themes were identified. (i) acknowledgment that there are wide applications for nutritional genomics; (ii) a general lack of awareness of nutritional genomics that underlies a knowledge, skills, and confidence gap; (iii) dietitians are patient-orientated and thus are receptive to the public's needs; (iv) the legitimacy of commercialised nutritional genomics products and services; and (v) prioritisation of nutritional genomics amongst other practice-related commitments as well as the influence of the workplace setting. CONCLUSIONS: In order for healthcare services to prepare for the application of nutritional genomics, these social, political, attitudinal, and awareness issues amongst dietitians need to be addressed. Further education in nutritional genomics may help to build awareness, continued research is crucial in determining utility, whilst establishing a healthcare system that supports and rewards this approach may cultivate its adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Volume43
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

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