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Dietitians in the spotlight for Dietitians Week

23 March 2023

This week is Dietitian’s week, focused on spilling the beans on the extent of the work these valuable members of staff provide to patients each day.

For many, the true extent of dietetics can go unacknowledged, that’s why this year’s theme for the week is #DidYouKnow?

Our PA Hospital Dietitians are involved in many facets of the patient journey, delivering personalised nutrition care considering each person’s medical conditions to contribute to a patient’s recovery after illness.

Outside of hands-on individual patient care, #DidYouKnow that Dietitians are involved in research to influence the health and wellbeing of patients across many specialist areas?

Below are just a few examples of the amazing research being undertaken on campus currently.

Amy Nevin - Spinal Injuries Unit Dietitian

Amy is currently completing her PhD research looking to improve the accuracy of energy prescription in people with a new spinal cord injury and generate evidence to demonstrate the best method to accurately predict energy needs. One of the aims of Amy’s research is to also reduce the incidence of clinicians overprescribing energy needs for people with spinal cord injuries who have pressure injuries and influence future evidenced bases guidelines for more accurate nutrition prescription in this group. The importance of this research is paramount in a very unresearched field where over-prescription of energy requirements can lead to high risk of weight gain and other health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes or breathing problems.

Margie Conley – Kidney Dietitian

Margie’s research aim is to engage with patients to explore the use of a low energy diet for weight loss in the management of obesity in those with chronic kidney disease. She has also been facilitating a feasibility study for a larger trial aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of a weight loss program to reduce heart-related risk factors and slow the progression of kidney damage in those living with chronic kidney disease.

Heidi Johnson – Liver Dietitian

Liver Dietitian, Heidi’s PhD research has impacted the introduction and ongoing use of assessments of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) and frailty into standard care for patients who are being assessed for a liver transplant. As part of this research, Heidi has also worked to increase the knowledge amongst other Dietitians of gold standard assessment methods to be used routinely in the assessment of people living with advanced liver disease and produced a formal protocol for assessing sarcopenia that can now be used in other clinical areas to improve dietetic care for our patients.

Mikeeley Hoch - Hepatobiliary/Surgical Dietitian

Mikeeley's research has sought to determine the prevalence of delayed gastric emptying following a whipple's surgery. Further to this, she has explored relationships between delayed gastric emptying and pre-operative malnutrition, perioperative nutritional practices and clinical outcomes, including initiation of artificial nutrition support and nutrition-related re-admissions. The findings from this research have provided a unique insight into the nutritional journey of many patients following a whipple's surgery and highlighted the significant impact of delayed gastric emptying. 

Undertaking research of your own? We’d love to hear about! Share your story with PAH_Communications@health.qld.gov.au

Last updated 23 March 2023
Last reviewed 23 March 2023

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