Over 2016 NNEdPro conducted a project to identify the global priorities in medical nutrition education and related research. The project came about due to the recognition that doctors have an important role in supporting individuals to have healthy, adequate dietary behaviours. However, there is considerable variability in the quantity, quality and approach to medical nutrition education worldwide and ongoing debate about the ideal way to provide nutrition education to medical students and graduates. To respond to this issue, NNEdPro aimed to identify the research priorities for medical nutrition education worldwide. A 5-step stakeholder engagement process was undertaken using guidelines for identifying research priorities. Ten stakeholder organisations provided input, including medical students, medical educators, medical practitioners, nutrition organisations and patient representatives. Each stakeholder organisation was asked to provide up to three research questions deemed as a priority. Research questions were critically appraised by the project team for answerability, sustainability, effectiveness, potential for translation and potential to impact on disease burden. A blinded scoring system was used to rank the appraised questions, with higher scores indicating higher priority. The highest scoring questions focused on (i) the confidence of medical students and doctors in providing nutrition care to patients, (ii) the essential nutrition skills doctors should acquire, (iii) the effectiveness of doctors at influencing dietary behaviours and (iv) medical students’ attitudes towards the importance of nutrition. These priorities will be used by NNEdPro to ensure future research projects are directly aligned align with the needs and preferences of research end-users.
Key domains of work that we undertake under NNEdPro’s Implementation Research and Consulting in Nutrition (IRCN) section are as follows:
Through our consulting services and action-orientated research, we design and conduct education and implementation programmes for individuals or organisations. For example, if a medical or healthcare education provider wishes to incorporate nutrition in their curriculum, we provide direction on the course content as well as strategies for delivery and evaluation of impact. On the other hand, if a health provider wishes to improve nutritional services in their organisation or health systems, we can drive implementation research to embed knowledge-driven changes into practice. If you are interested in our consulting services or in commissioning implementation research, please contact us for a preliminary assessment of your needs.
Below are featured case studies from ongoing implementation research led by Dr Lauren Ball and Celia Laur, in close partnership with Prof Sumantra Ray and the NNEdPro Group.
Research and Innovation in Nutrition and Medical Education, Patient Safety, Health Services and Public Health Improvement
Consulting in Education and Training Strategies in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition
Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Nutrition Interventions and Surveillance
Advocacy for Policy Impact in Nutrition
A major initiative under our Implementation Research activities will involve application of findings from the ongoing Canadian More-2-Eat multicentre study in secondary care (on which NNEdPro is a co-applicant) and current collaborative work in Australia through the Nutricare study in primary care (also with NNEdPro as a co-applicant). Both studies use complex interventions and implementation science to rigorously characterise key touchpoints for incorporation of nutritional interventions and services across both primary and secondary care settings. Findings from these current studies will play a key role in informing the next steps for UK as well as other international stakeholders. We will focus our work in this area on the issues around managing the double burden of undernutrition/deficiencies as well as overnutrition/metabolic diseases across the life course and across populations, using a whole systems approach.