The aim of this observational study was to investigate the reported practices of Australian dietitians managing bariatric surgery candidates in the preoperative stage. An online survey of dietitians providing nutritional care to bariatric candidates was developed specifically for the purpose of this investigation. The survey questions were guided by the American best practice guidelines (ASMBS) and current literature, and consisted of scaled and open-ended responses. Ninety-nine dietitians completed the survey. Results indicated that the majority of participants (n = 70, 77%) reported providing three to four different types of nutrition interventions with patients. Only a small proportion of participants reported always screening for all nutrients (n = 7, 7%) and biomarkers of chronic disease (n = 9, 10%). Preoperative screening was not consistent with current recommendations. Most participants recommended one to two different medical nutrition therapy strategies for preoperative weight loss (n = 69, 74%), with a very low energy diet exclusively from liquid meal replacements being the most frequently prescribed (n = 62, 69%). On average, participants provided three to four different types of education strategies on the dietary and lifestyle modifications required post-bariatric surgery (n = 76, 84%). Significant difference was observed between workplace and the referral process, multidisciplinary team involvement and use of evidence-based guidelines (P < 0.05). Signifi- cant difference was also observed between region and screening practices (P < 0.05). Reported practice of the bariatric dietitians, surveyed in this study, was mostly consistent with recommendations from the literature and with the ASMBS guidelines. The development of evidencebased clinical guidelines for Australian dietitians may be beneficial to optimise positive patient outcome.
33rd Dietitians Association of Australia National Conference, Melbourne, Australia 19-21 May 2016
Nutrition and Dietetics / Vol. 73, Supplement 1, pp.55