Frequently Asked Questions
What is PEN?
Clinicians are facing increasing needs and problems and PEN provides a solution. As part of HCPC registration all dietitians whether in clinical practice or non clinical settings must be working in an evidence-based manner however, keeping up to date can be difficult. PEN allows clinicians to quickly find authoritative answers to day-to-day practice questions using the most current evidence.
To address the constantly evolving nutrition environment, within the context of the British health system, and to support their members to practice in an evidence-based manner, BDA have collaborated with Dietitians of Canada to develop UK content for Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition [PEN] - a web-based decision support service providing access to easy-to-use, evidence-based practice tools.
You can access the PEN site at www.pennutrition.com.
How does PEN differ from a Dietetic manual?
Diet manuals, whether published as a hard copy reference, or an electronic text, provide a static reference document comprised of a set number of clinical nutrition topics. PEN is a dynamic service designed as a series of knowledge pathways covering the diverse practice of dietetics. Each knowledge path grows in breadth and depth over time as evidence that informs practice changes. In addition, new knowledge pathways can be easily added as the need and interest for those topics arises.
What is a knowledge pathway?
Each knowledge pathway focuses on answering key practice questions on a specific nutrition and dietetic topic. They consist of succinct key points for practice and summaries of the evidence. These are synthesized from high quality international research and guidelines. In addition they are supported by a full list of references, with links to the original source. Furthermore, links to websites, e-publications and client and professional facing tools and resources are available. A knowledge pathway provides the flexibility to enable the busy practitioner to quickly find an answer to a specific question, as well as to “drill down” to review the evidence in more detail, when time permits. The breadth and depth of a knowledge pathway will vary depending on the topic.
How can PEN support your practice?
PEN supports decision making for:
|As a clinician||As a research tool to update nutrition support protocols|
|As a credible source for the media||As a quick way to find the answer to an emerging issue in the news|
|As a practice leader||As a professional development tool to update the team's knowledge on topics of relevance to their practice|
|As a university educator||To update your lecture notes or create an assignment for student to appraise a research article and compare their appraisal to PEN|
|As a food service dietitian||To use the best evidence in providing food safety training for food handlers|
|As a resource developer||To find evidence-based guidance for 'best practice' in resource design|
|As a private practitioner||To quickly keep up to date in a broad portfolio of topics|
|As a practice educator||To enhance your knowledge of ways to build relationships between you and your students|