Patients' perceptions of nutrition care provided by general practitioners: focus on Type 2 diabetes

Fam Pract. 2012 Dec;29(6):719-25. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cms025. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Background: In Australia, GPs are central to managing individuals with chronic disease. Due to the influence of lifestyle behaviour on chronic disease health outcomes, GPs may counsel an individual about nutrition to assist the individual to improve their nutrition behaviour. Patients with a positive regard for their health care are more likely to adhere to lifestyle changes which have been recommended by a health professional. It is unclear whether this relationship extends to the context of nutrition and general practice. The management of Type 2 diabetes presents as a relevant scenario to investigate patients' perceptions of nutrition care provided by Australian GPs.

Objectives: This study examines the perceptions of individuals with Type 2 diabetes regarding the nutrition care they have received from GPs.

Methods: Nine hundred and thirty-nine individuals with Type 2 diabetes completed a 54-item online survey. Individual survey items related to demographic information, health-related attributes, perspectives on ideal care and reflections on previous care.

Results: Eighty-four per cent of respondents perceived that ideal management of Type 2 diabetes by GPs includes nutrition care, however, only 43% of respondents report to have received this care from a GP. Over 91% of respondents are satisfied with their GP regarding nutrition care, but only 34% of respondents believe this care has been effective in improving their personal nutrition behaviour.

Conclusion: Patients do not receive nutrition care from GPs as often as they would like, and despite being satisfied with the overall care received, are concerned about the effectiveness of the nutrition care component.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult