implementation research & consulting in nutrition

key Implementation research outputs to date

IRCN builds on several years of action-orientated research experience and advocacy. Current work emphasises integrating principles of good nutrition into multiple systems with pioneering work funded through competitive awards as well as a range of consulting engagements in the UK and internationally.

Aim

To seek implementation strategies for the embedding of good nutrition practices into education as well as food and health systems across sectors through action-orientated research and solution-focused consulting.

UK Nutrition Implementation Coalition

The UK & Ireland Network hosts ‘The Nutrition Implementation Coalition', a strategic alliance between NNEdPro, ERimNN, Nutritank and Culinary Medicine UK with a collective vision to improve nutrition education for health care professionals. In turn, this will improve the care provided and hold benefits for population health.

Aims:

  • Expand dialogue around the role of nutrition in health for patient benefit;

  • Increase representation of nutrition competencies in health professionals’ curricula;

  • Design and implement nutrition education resources for health professionals and students;

  • To support the implementation and evaluation  of nutrition education and healthcare nutrition practices;

  • Engage with stakeholders and regulatory bodies to ensure nutrition competencies are assessed.

Nutrition Education Policy for Healthcare Practice (NEPHELP) Initiative

A workforce empowered to identify and treat malnutrition is essential. However, NNEdPro research has identified nutrition as a common knowledge gap amongst doctors and other healthcare workers. To address this, the NNEdPro team, through the Nutrition Education Policy in Healthcare Practice (NEPHELP) project, have created materials to educate junior doctors and allied healthcare professionals on the fundamentals of nutrition. To train medical, nursing, and allied healthcare professionals about the following:

  • The common problems with nutrition care in hospitals, the community and the transfer of nutrition care between the two;

  • The use of appropriate screening tools to detect malnutrition and nutritional risks;

  • The basics of first-line nutrition interventions and how to translate this to patient care;

  • The assessment, diagnosis and management of nutritional deficiencies;

  • Appropriate onward referral and communication with nutrition specialist services.

Multiple IRCN Consultancy Projects

IRCN builds on several years of action-orientated research experience and advocacy. Through our consulting services and action-orientated research, we design and conduct education and implementation programmes for individuals or organisations. The aim is to seek implementation strategies for the embedding of good nutrition practices into education as well as food and health systems across sectors through action-orientated research and solution-focused consulting. Current consultancy projects include:

  • Elsevier Essentials of Medical Nutrition Textbook Project

  • Diverse Nutrition Association Project

  • Repeat-XP Consumer App Project

  • Power of Nutrition Training Project

International Knowledge Application Network Hub in Nutrition 2025 supported by the Swiss Re Institute

Learn more here.

past activities

  1. The Canadian More-2-Eat Project led by the University of Waterloo - Phase-II over 2018-20

  2. Development of Electronic Dietary Self-Awareness Tools for the South Asian Population - 2018-20

  3. Special assignment on Nutrition and Capacity Building in the Healthcare Workforce with the World Health Organization – 2018/19

  4. Open Data Strategy Partnership with the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Initiative supported by G-7 and United Nations partners – 2017-19

  5. Nutrition Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Surveys of Medical Students and Junior Doctors - 2017/18

  6. Implementation Research to Optimise Management of Specific Food Allergies by Health Professionals without Nutrition Training – 2017/19


Below are featured case studies from implementation research led by Dr Lauren Ball (NNEdPro Global Strategic Lead for I-KANN-25) and Celia Laur (NNEdPro Global Innovation Lead), in close partnership with Prof Sumantra Ray and the NNEdPro Group.

IRCN Case Study 1: Global Research Priorities Project


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. 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 have been utilised to ensure that future research projects are directly aligned align with the needs of end-users.




IRCN Case Study 2: Applications from Canada and Australia


An initiative under our Implementation Research activities involves application of findings from the ongoing Canadian More-2-Eat multicentre study in secondary care (on which NNEdPro is a co-applicant) and collaborative work in Australia through the Nutricare study in primary care. 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 can play a key role in informing the next steps for international stakeholders.





ConsultInG Services

Further Informat-ion

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 an organisation wishes to strengthen nutrition-related knowledge and skills within their operations, we can drive implementation and change management in this area. We also work across the interdisciplinary domains underpinning food, nutrition and health.

If you are interested in our consulting services or collaboration in implementation research/evaluation, please contact us for a preliminary assessment of your needs.