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Information sessions for outpatients referred to a hospital Nutrition and Dietetic Service for cholesterol lowering advice

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Abstract:

Abstract Aim 

To assess the feasibility of recruiting outpatients referred for cholesterol lowering advice to attend a 1-h evening information session provided by a hospital dietitian and to evaluate the service. Method 

A Cholesterol Information Session was held on one evening each month between April and September 2000. Patients referred to the Nutrition and Dietetic Service for cholesterol lowering advice were sent appointments for these sessions by post instead of a one-to-one daytime appointment with the dietitian. At the session, the dietitian explained what cholesterol is and gave advice about the healthy eating and lifestyle changes needed to control it. Video material and literature were used to support verbal information. Questions were encouraged throughout the session. Results 

Thirty-four patients were sent appointments. Twenty-seven (79%) attended, 10 of whom were accompanied by a spouse/partner/carer/family member. All patients who attended completed evaluation forms. There was a high level of satisfaction with the sessions. Twenty-six patients (96%) said they liked the way the session was runand found the advice and videos helpful. Twenty-five patients (93%) preferred the evening appointment to a day time one. Patients who attended with a spouse/partner/carer/family member indicated it was helpful to them and the accompanying person. Feedback through patient comments was positive. The seven patients (21%) who did not attend the sessions made contact with the dietetic service. Conclusion 

As a result of the positive outcome of the evaluation, the Cholesterol Information Session is continuing as a service to patients. It provides a facility outside the usual hours of outpatient services and can readily accommodate accompanying people. The information session uses the group format, which may be applicable to other specialist areas of the Nutrition and Dietetic service in the future, such as diabetes management.

Keywords: cholesterol; group sessions; outpatients

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-277X.2002.00371.x

Affiliations: 1: Clinical Specialist Dietitian, Departments of Preventive Medicine/Health Promotion, Cardiology & Nutrition and Dietetics, StVincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland; 2: Dietitian Manager, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, StVincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland; 3: Associate Professor & Acting Head of Department, Department of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology, University College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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