Patient information letters on nutrition: development and implementation.
SourceThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 77, 4 Suppl, (2003), pp. 1035S-1038S
Article / Letter to editor
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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
iss. 4 Suppl
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health
BACKGROUND: In 1998 the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) began developing patient information letters (PILs), based on the practice guidelines for family physicians (FPs) (NHG standards). Five nutritional guidance letters have since been developed with the Dutch Nutrition Center. METHODS: In August-September 2001 a survey was done among a random sample of 200 FPs who subscribe to the PILs. They received a questionnaire about the use and implementation of the PILs in general, and about the nutrition letters specifically. Results : Responses were received from 133 FPs (67%). Of these FPs, 89% use the PILs in their practice. Only 5% of FPs say that they use the PILs on nutrition sufficiently; 32% think they should use them a bit more, whereas 63% make much too little use of the nutrition letters. The most important barriers for using the letters are that FPs do not think about them at the right moment (66%), do not know the content enough (32%), find that using them is too time-consuming (29%), have computer problems (17%), and have too little knowledge about nutritional advice (11%); only 6% do not see dietary advice as an FP's task. The most important reason for not using the nutrition letters is the fact that the letters are not integrated into their FP information system (23%). CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of PILs takes time, and there are great advantages to integrating them into the existing Family Practice Information Systems.
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