Opportunities to extend scope of practice for Australian dietitians

Caitlin Delaney, Ruth Vo, Eleanor J. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


The health sector has evolved substantially over the last 50 years, with creation of new roles for various health care professionals. Advanced and extended scope of practice pathways for Australian dietitians are limited, compared to those offered to dietitians registered in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The aim of this research was to understand and explore current extended scope of practice roles by Australian dietitians with patients requiring pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). An online survey and telephone interviews with dietitians working with patients on PERT investigated the range of advice given and the role they played in the care of these patients. Thematic analysis was undertaken via an inductive approach to better understand the contexts and reasoning around extended scope of practice. Study participants in the online survey (91.4%) described roles beyond traditional scope of practice with respect to patients on PERT, with support from a multidisciplinary team important in this practice. Nearly all respondents (97%) believed prescribing rights for dietitians for PERT would be beneficial. Telephone interviews revealed benefits may be increased time efficiency; improved quality of patient care; potential economic benefit to the health system; increased job satisfaction and enhanced inter‐professional communication. A common opinion was that dietitians are adequately equipped, perhaps more so compared to medical staff, to administer medication where dosing is largely dependent upon diet. Further investigation into the logistical considerations, including training and support from medical officers around adapting allied health extended practice frameworks into the Australian context is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25
Number of pages1
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2018
EventDietitians Association of Australia Annual 35th National Conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 17 May 201819 May 2018

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