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Nutrition and maternal health: a mapping of Australian dietetic services

Wilkinson, SA, Donaldson, E and Willcox, Jane 2020, Nutrition and maternal health: a mapping of Australian dietetic services, BMC Health Services Research, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1186/s12913-020-05528-4.

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Title Nutrition and maternal health: a mapping of Australian dietetic services
Author(s) Wilkinson, SA
Donaldson, E
Willcox, JaneORCID iD for Willcox, Jane orcid.org/0000-0002-6306-5333
Journal name BMC Health Services Research
Volume number 20
Issue number 1
Article ID 660
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BMC
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 1472-6963
Keyword(s) Antenatal
Postnatal
Maternal health
Health services
Dietetics
Nutrition
Summary AbstractBackgroundStrong associations between diet and maternal and child outcomes emphasise the importance of evidence-based care for women across preconception, antenatal and postnatal periods. A 2008 survey of Australian maternal health dietetic services documented critically low resourcing with considerable variation in staffing levels and models of care. This study repeated the survey to examine resourcing in Australian maternal health services.MethodsA cross-sectional online survey was emailed to publicly-funded Australian maternal health dietetic services in May 2018. Quantitative and qualitative variables collected across preconception to postnatal services (including diabetes) included; births per year (BPY), number of beds, staffing (full time equivalents; FTE), referral processes, and models of care. Results were collated in > 5000; 3500 and 5000; and < 3500 BPY.ResultsForty-three eligible surveys were received from seven states/territories. Dietetic staffing levels ranged from 0 to 4.0 FTE (> 5000 BPY), 0–2.8 FTE (3500–5000 BPY), and 0–2.0 FTE (< 3500 BPY). The offering of preconception, antenatal and postnatal services varied significantly between hospitals (format, staffing, referral processes, delivery models). Few sites reported service effectiveness monitoring and only one delivered gestational diabetes mellitus care according to nutrition practice guidelines. Low staffing levels and extensive service gaps, including lack of processes to deliver and evaluate services, were evident with major concerns expressed about the lack of capacity to provide evidence-based care.ConclusionsTen years after the initial survey and recommendations there remains an identified role for dietitians to advocate for better staffing and for development, implementation, and evaluation of service models to influence maternal nutrition.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12913-020-05528-4
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0807 Library and Information Studies
1110 Nursing
1117 Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30153674

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.