Lauren Ball, MND, APD, Associate Lecturer
Working profile of Australian private practice Accredited Practising Dietitians
Article first published online: 29 JAN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2013 Dietitians Association of Australia
Nutrition & Dietetics
Volume 70, Issue 3, pages 196–205, September 2013
How to Cite
Ball, L., Larsson, R., Gerathy, R., Hood, P. and Lowe, C. (2013), Working profile of Australian private practice Accredited Practising Dietitians. Nutrition & Dietetics, 70: 196–205. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12015
Rachel Larsson, BPH, Student
Rachel Gerathy, MND, APD, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sports Dietitian, Nutritionist & Exercise Scientist
Peta Hood, BHthSci (Nut & Dt), APD, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Sports Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
Catherine Lowe, Grad.Dip.Nutr. & Diet., APD, Accredited Practising Dietitian
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 29 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: AUG 2012
- allied health;
- dietetic practice;
- dietitian workforce;
- private practice
To describe the demographic, operational and financial working profile of private practice dietitians in Australia.
A cross-sectional online survey examined the demographics, business structure, key services and fees, marketing strategies, financial welfare, professional support and motivation for dietitians working in the private practice sector in Australia. A link to the survey was posted on the Dietitians Association of Australia, Dietitians In the Private Sector Interest Group national list serve, from September to October 2011 (potential reach of 1222 members). Reminder emails were posted every seven days; data collection ceased after 28 days.
A total of 156 dietitians completed the online survey, representing a response rate of 13%. The majority were female, aged 20–30 years. Seventy-four per cent of the dietitians identified themselves as the proprietor of the business in which they worked. Eighty-four per cent of the respondents had prior dietetic experience before entering private practice, mainly in the hospital/clinical setting. Most dietitians conducted <20 consultations per week, with the main source of referrals being general practitioners. Initial consultations were on average 52 ± 13 minutes in length (range 30–120 minutes) and incurred a fee of $99 ± 22 (range $60–$195). For dietitians renumerated on a ‘per-hour’ basis (41%), the gross hourly rate was $71 ± $35 (range $20–$135). For those renumerated on a ‘percentage of income generated’ basis (44%), the rate was 52 ± 23% (range 15–89%).
The present study provides valuable data on the working profile of private practice dietitians in Australia, which will inform support and advocacy for this working group.