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Melissa Brausse
Presentation Preference
Registered Dietitians Practice Perspectives in End-of-Life Care within the Long-Term Care Context
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors
Melissa Brausse B.Sc.1, Allison Cammer, PhD, RD1, Christina Lengyel, PhD, RD2
1College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK;
2Faculty of Agricultural and Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
Provision of high-quality end-of-life nutrition care is critical to the quality of life of residents in long-term care (LTC) settings.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
The purpose of this study was to explore registered dietitians (RDs) practices, attitudes, knowledge, and experiences of end-of-life nutrition care in the long-term-care (LTC) context.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
Interpretive description methodology guided this study allowing an in-depth view of the roles RDs play at end-of-life care for residents. Informed consent was obtained from participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted via secure WebEx platform. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using NVivo software. 
Thirty RDs participated across five provinces (BC, AB, SK, ON, NB). Nine key themes were developed from the data: adapting the goals of care; contributing dietetic specialization to the interprofessional care team; lack of involvement in care team; supporting families; combatting misconceptions; uncomfortable conversations; balancing resident comfort and safety; navigating ethical concerns; and advocating for care needs. The RD role in end-of-life care is vast and varied. RDs bring strong expertise to the table but are not always invited. When they are, they may feel like they are in a challenging position navigating ethical considerations and ensuring the resident’s quality of life is prioritized.
The study highlights the variety and complexity in the roles RDs play at end-of-life. Whether or not RDs are given opportunities to participate in someone’s care at this stage depends on time, expertise, comfort-level, and perceived role within the LTC home and care team. Enabling RDs to participate thoroughly and implementing guiding policies and procedures would contribute to increasing the quality of nutrition care provided for residents at end-of-life. 
Significance to Dietetics
Funded by
Canadian Frailty Network Summer Student Awards
Original Work
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