Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Diet Assoc. 1998 Sep;98(9):977-82; quiz 983-4.

Patients report positive nutrition counseling outcomes.

Author information

Medical Dietetics Division, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1234, USA.



Assess outcomes of patient nutrition counseling.


A descriptive study based on the results of a telephone interview performed 2 to 8 weeks after counseling.


Subjects were 400 adult patients referred for nutrition counseling at 2 academic health centers. Of these, 274 patients received nutrition counseling during hospitalization and 126 as outpatients.


Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data and the Mann-Whitney U statistic and logistic regressions were used to test significant differences (P < .05) between inpatient and outpatient counseling outcomes.


Most patients (83%) gave a partial or full description of their diet modifications and 79% had a moderate or good understanding of their diet. Most patients reported that the dietitian's advice was suited to their special needs (88%) and that they knew what to eat (83%). A majority (62%) had made dietary changes, but 17% said they had had trouble changing their diets as suggested. After talking with a dietitian, 57% felt better emotionally, 37% felt better physically, 64% felt in control of their condition, and 43% noticed improved health indicators. Initial analysis indicated that outpatients reported better outcomes than inpatients; further analysis showed that these differences could be attributed to younger ages among the outpatient sample.


Patient nutrition counseling has positive outcomes. Therefore, key counseling points should be introduced or reinforced in inpatient settings, in conjunction with multiple-session protocols during the pre- and/or posthospitalization continuum of care. Dietitians, managers, administrators, and credentialing agencies should work together to secure and promote the necessary physical, personnel, and financial resources to make this happen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center