Date of Award

6-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition Science and Dietetics

Advisor(s)

Sudha Raj

Second Advisor

Katherine McDonald

Keywords

Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy Radial, Integrative and Functional Medicine, Nutrition Assessment, Nutrition Care Process, Patient Centered Care, Registered Dietitian

Abstract

Background: The important role nutrition plays in Integrative and Functional Medicine, along with increased enrollment rates in the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) dietetics practice group points to the fact that dietitians are in need of effective tools to use to guide their integrative and functional nutrition practice. The Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy Radial was created as a conceptual framework to assist dietitians in providing personalized nutrition care. We do not know, however, what integrative dietitians are currently doing in their practice or if they are utilizing this conceptual framework. The objective of this research is to investigate the Integrative and Functional Medicine practices of Registered Dietitians as well as assess their use and perceived effectiveness of the Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy Radial.

Methods : This is a cross-sectional study utilizing a self-administered web-based survey. Participants included Registered Dietitians belonging to the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine dietetic practice group. Statistical analysis utilized SPSS software. Analysis included descriptive statistics and X2 analysis for independence. Qualitative responses were coded and analyzed for similarity in responses. Main outcome measures included reported functional nutrition related assessment and treatment practices, as well as familiarity with, use, and perceived effectiveness of the Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy Radial.

Results: Two-hundred and eleven surveys were completed and analyzed. The most frequently assessed client history items included physical activity, use of supplements, and digestive wellness. Eighty-four percent of respondents (n = 178) reported they assess client biochemical status, while only 70 participants reported providing nutrition focused physical exams for their clients. One-hundred and three participants reported having previous exposure to the IFMNT radial, of those participants, 49 had utilized it in their professional practice. The most frequently utilized areas of the radial include Lifestyle and Systems Signs and Symptoms. Participant feedback regarding the IFMNT radial indicates additional education and training is necessary.

Conclusions: Reported integrative medicine practices appear similar to those provided on the IFMNT Radial. The IFMNT Radial may provide guidance to Registered Dietitians practicing Integrative and Functional Medicine, however, education and training regarding this tool is needed.

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Open Access

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