27 Feb 2019

by Judy Lawrence, Research Officer, The British Dietetic Association

The 2018 Research Symposium was held as usual in Birmingham at the beginning of December, welcoming nearly seventy abstract presenters. The symposium continues to expand and saw the addition of two new streams; nutrition support and the General and Educational Trust Fund (GET) sponsored stream. The GET has a long history of supporting the science and practice of dietetics through the promotion of grants to support dietetic research. The inclusion of this stream at the symposium enabled some of the grant holders from the past five years to present their work and update the profession on their findings.

The days programme started with Dr Avril Collinson, Associate Professor & Academic Lead Dietetics from the University of Plymouth presenting the plenary lecture on the BDA commissioned research the ‘impact of dietitians in the multi‐disciplinary GP practice team’.

The symposium abstracts in this supplement are arranged according to the seven streams; clinical nutrition, new to research, which includes final year projects by student dietitians on preregistration courses as well as PhD research, nutrition support, paediatric, public health and finally the service evaluation stream and finally the new GET stream.

The clinical nutrition abstracts cover a wide variety of topics including tyrosine blood concentrations in women with maternal Phenyl ketonuria and improving outcomes for people with coeliac disease. The prize for best clinical nutrition abstract was awarded Jennifer McIntosh for ‘A Pilot Study Validating a Nutritional Screening Tool (NST) within a Mental Health (MH) and Learning Disability (LD) Inpatient Population’.

The new to research stream included some innovative research, both in terms of setting and technology use. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to explore nutrition and food choice in both male and female prisons. Work looking at dietitians’ use of smartphone apps and social media was also reported. The new to research abstract stream winner was Jitesh Patel for ‘A Pilot Validation Study of an Iodine Screening Tool for Women of Childbearing Age’ Jitesh was supervised by Dr Sarah Bath at the University of Surrey. Our thanks as always to Yakult for their continued support of this stream.

The new nutrition support stream was supported by BDA PENG and proved very successful with Angela Madden, Simone Bothwell and Malgorzata Szychtar winning the prize for best abstract. Their work ‘A Microbial Evaluation of the Effects of Preparation Methods & Storage of Blended Feeds’ was one of a number of abstracts looking at blended diets.

The paediatric stream supported by the BDA Paediatric Specialist Group, continues to be popular. The winning abstract from Sarah Bremner for ‘Cross‐Sectional Survey Exploring the Use of Blended Diet for Tube‐Fed Paediatric Inpatients’ covering a particularly topical subject area as illustrated by the number of abstracts on blended diets in the previous stream.

The public health stream abstract winner was Bethany Barlow for ‘Child and Adult Orientated Breakfast Cereals: A Cross Sectional Analysis of Nutrient Profile’. The stream was supported by BDA Public Health Specialist Group for the first time and undoubtedly benefited from the groups input.

The final stream of service evaluation abstracts was presented by dietitians from a wide range of practice backgrounds and made for interesting listening. The stream winner was Kaylee Allan for ‘A Retrospective Service Evaluation of Whether a Nasal Bridle Improves Nutritional Delivery in Critically Ill Adult Patients’.

I hope you will enjoy reading the many abstracts and I look forward to 2019's submissions, which I am sure will be as interesting and varied as this collection. Please consider taking part in the symposium either to present your own work or to come along and hear about dietetic research.

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