Providing dietary advice in primary care: Ethical dilemmas, ethical competence and evaluation of an educational intervention

Nutrition care comprises everyday health care work as well as palliative care and care of severe illnesses. Dietary advice can be loaded and challenging and can give rise to difficult situations for dietitians and health care staff responsible for providing the advice. This can create to work-related stress and raises ethical dilemmas among dietitians.

This project focuses on dietary advice given by dietitians and nurses in primary care. We aim to develop knowledge about what ethical competence health care professionals in primary care need when providing dietary advice, as well as methods for developing such competence and holding it to a high standard. Also, an educational intervention on ethics and ethical competence will be developed and its feasibility will be evaluated.

This PhD project is part of the graduate program in medical humanities at Uppsala University and is estimated to run from 2023 to 2027.

Aims

The overarching aim of the project is to further the understanding of ethical aspects of providing dietary advice in primary care in the Swedish context. This includes:

  • Exploring dietitians’ and nurses’ experiences of dietary advice with a focus on challenges in their daily work.
  • Exploring whether ethical stress and ethical competence are correlated
  • Exploring the feasibility of an educational intervention on ethics and ethical competence for health care professionals providing dietary advice in primary care
  • Integrating normative ethical theories with empirical findings in order to develop ethical guidance for health care professionals providing dietary advice.

Methods

Empirical methods in combination with theoretical ethical analysis will be used. This includes:

  • A qualitative interview study
  • A quantitative questionnaire
  • A feasibility study
  • A theoretical study

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Last modified: 2024-01-15