Alexandria Journal of Medicine

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Predictors of physicians’ practices related to nutritional counseling and management in Riyadh City

MN Al-Muammar


Background: A growing interest has become increasing in the role of physicians as effective resources for the promotion of good nutritional practices, however, the factors that impede their nutritional counseling and management practice (NC&M) are not clearly understood in Saudi
Objectives: The objectives of the study were to investigate physicians’ practices concerning NC&M and to explore some determinants that predict such practices.
Results: Data of 266 physicians working in big hospitals in Riyadh showed that only 7.9% of the respondents reported that they were practicing all aspects of NC&M; including nutritional assessment, therapy, and education. Those who practiced any one of these aspects ranged between 13.9– 40.2%, meanwhile, 28% frankly reported that they did not practice NC&M. In the last year, the mean percentage of patients placed on nutrition therapy was 24.15 ± 27.78% and the mean percentage of clinic time dedicated to NC&M was 21.49 ±20.54%. Most of the respondents
(72.9%) had poor nutritional knowledge score. Overall, 19.2% previously attended CME in nutrition. Only 1.5% and 28.6% self-assessed themselves as ‘‘outstanding’’ and ‘‘good’’ in NC&M skills and the mean total self-efficacy in NC&M was moderate. The majority (77.8%) perceived NC&M
as highly or moderately relevant to their specialties. Physicians attitude and perceived efficacy towards NC&M was moderately high as the mean scores were greater than their midpoint. Their perceived barriers of NC&M were considerably moderate; as the mean total score was found to be near the midpoint of that scale. Among the seven independent variables entered the binary logistic regression of physicians practice of NC&M, only the knowledge, attitude, and self-efficacy scores were significantly associated with their NC&M practice. These three predictors contributed by
23.5% of the variation of physician practice of NC&M.
Conclusions: Physicians knowledge, self-efficacy, attitudes and other factors should be stressed in any intervention warranted to improve their nutritional practices.
AJOL African Journals Online