Get access

Five-year survey of Wellington practice nurses delivering dietary advice to people with type 2 diabetes


  • Amber Parry Strong, PhD, RD, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • Julia Lyon, DipPH, RD, Dietitian
  • Katherine Stern, PGDipDiet, RD, Dietitian
  • Claudia Vavasour, PGDipDiet, RD, Dietitian
  • Jan Milne, MSc, RD, Dietitian



The aim of this study was to survey practice nurses in 2007 and 2012 to ascertain whether they are adequately equipped with knowledge, skills and resources, to provide nutrition education to people with type 2 diabetes in the Wellington region.


A self-administered questionnaire was posted to 151 practice nurses in 2007 and a revised questionnaire to 150 practice nurses in 2012.


Practice nurses continue to provide most of the dietary advice in general practices. Changes over the 5-year period saw more nurses educating on hypoglycaemia, carbohydrate and alcohol. In most cases, appropriate resources are being used, with Diabetes NZ being the most popular source of patient resources. The number of nurses assessing the patients' diet and feeling confident in giving dietary education may have decreased over the 5-year period.


Areas that could be addressed in future training sessions include giving culturally specific dietary advice, quick nutrition assessment skills, simple nutrition education techniques and ways to support patients to lose weight.