Healthy diet counselling is an important concept in health promotion.
Physiotherapists are well positioned to initiate or support healthy nutrition in addition to physical activity counselling, in routine patient consultation.
To determine the practices about and barriers to diet counselling practices among
physiotherapists in Southeast Nigeria.
In this cross-sectional survey, a total of 140 questionnaires were distributed among
Overall, 103 physiotherapists responded. Physiotherapists are confident and consider
the incorporation of dietary counselling very important and of high priority in their daily clinical work. They, however, assessed and counselled on dietary status opportunistically in patients. Notwithstanding, physiotherapists believed that the diet counselling they give could
be effective in helping patients change their unhealthy dieting practices. Patients were also
amenable to physiotherapists advocating on diet issues as part of their consultation. Several
barriers to incorporating diet counselling into physiotherapy practice were identified,
including lack of access to a dietician/health promotion staff/counsellors, lack of proper patient education materials, lack of expertise in
relation to dietary risk factors' assessment
and management, and uncertainty about what dietary services to provide.