Nutritional advice for community patients: insights from a panel discussion.
This article describes the conclusions of an expert panel that discussed four case studies; these were examples of patients typically encountered by nurses working in the community. The panel considered the nutritional and lifestyle advice that could be given by nurses relating to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, vulnerability to common infections, elderly care, recurrent urinary tract infection, antibiotic use, and risk of type 2 diabetes. A general conclusion was the importance of motivational interviewing techniques in achieving full understanding of patients’ concerns and to determine the best health strategy. As well as specific guidance appropriate for each disorder, a range of information sources for both health professionals and patients are listed in the paper. The panel noted that, although general nutritional advice can be given by nurses working at GP surgeries and in the community, patients should always be referred to registered dietitians or nutritionists if significant dietary changes are considered.