‘Nutrition care’ refers to any practice conducted by a health professional to support a patient to improve their dietary behaviours. Better understanding about the effectiveness of nutrition care is required to identify ways to enhance success of future interventions.Objective.
Systematically review literature that investigated the effect of nutrition care provided by primary health professionals on adult patients’ dietary behaviours.Methods.
The systematic review included all studies published between January 2000 and January 2015 that involved nutrition care by one or more primary health professionals to adult patients and incorporated at least one quantified food-related outcome measure (e.g. daily intake of vegetables in grams, weekly servings of lean meats). After data extraction, the methodological quality of each study was appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool.Results.
Twenty-one studies, totalling 12497 participants were included. The design, intensity, theoretical underpinning and follow-up period of interventions were diverse. Twelve studies found significant improvements in participants’ dietary behaviours, such as increased daily consumption of fruit, vegetables, high-fibre bread and fish. However, seven studies did not identify any improvement in dietary behaviours; one observed equal improvements among participants in the intervention and control groups and one found a reduction in participants’ daily fruit and vegetable intake.Conclusion.
Interventions involving nutrition care provided by primary health professionals have the potential to improve patients’ dietary behaviours. However, the consistency and clinical significance of intervention outcomes are unclear. Further consideration of factors that may influence the effectiveness of interventions, but not traditionally measured, are required.