Results from the Survey about dietetic services in IBD

By NZ Gastro Office | Posted: Sunday June 11, 2023

In 2020 members were asked to participate in a survey about dietetic services for IBD patients in NZ researcher, Nicky McCarthy would like to share the results

Thank you to everybody that completed the survey about dietetic services in IBD back in 2020. We received responses from 406 IBD patients, 79 dietitians and 40 gastroenterologists. Some of our research findings have recently been published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here are some of the key findings:

95% of patients who responded to the survey had nutrition topics that they would like to discuss with a dietitian. 52% had previously seen a dietitian and most of these patients found it useful. Two-thirds of patients said they would like access to a dietitian whenever a new nutrition issue arises.

Over 80% of patients had received IBD nutrition advice from a health practitioner, although the research found that advice from practitioners who were not dietitians or gastroenterologists was sometimes not evidence-based.

Our research highlighted that there are barriers affecting IBD patient access to dietitians, including the lack of workforce resourcing, variable referral rates from medical practitioners, acceptance criteria restricting access to dietetic services and waitlists for appointments. The results also showed that the level of specialist IBD knowledge amongst New Zealand dietitians is variable.

Key conclusions were that inclusion of dietitians in IBD multidisciplinary teams would be beneficial and would likely improve patient access to dietitians. We have also suggested that IBD dietetic care standards should be developed and/or a national IBD dietitian position created to champion nutritional therapy in IBD and provide support and resources to IBD healthcare providers.

For those who would like to read further, the full article is able to be accessed at this link below.

Other research findings were previously presented and can be accessed at these links

Nicky McCarthy NZRD
Dietitian - Nutritionist