Computerised dietary assessment interviews: Health professionals and patients' opinions about web communications


  • Contributions: YP was involved in the study design and conduct as well as drafting this manuscript. LT was YP's supervisor during the work, assisted in the study design and provided editorial advice towards the manuscript.

  • Y. Probst, NHMRC, Senior Research Fellow

  • L. Tapsell, PhD FDAA, Professor

Y.C. Probst, Smart Foods Centre, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Email:


Aim:  To describe the acceptance of DietAdvice, an automated dietary assessment website, by its stakeholders.

Methods:  One-month evaluation study using audio-recorded telephone interviews with 10 patients who had used DietAdvice, 10 dietitians, 10 general practitioners who recruited many patients and 10 general practitioners who recruited few or no patients to the website to obtain their beliefs and opinions about DietAdvice, health, nutrition and technology. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed for categorical themes using NVivo software.

Results:  Patients were concerned about Internet difficulties and had a preference for face-to-face interviews and dietitians felt that DietAdvice could save time prior to dietary education and counselling. Recruiting general practitioners believed that patient computer literacy was a limitation, although increased availability of dietary services created by DietAdvice. Non-recruiting general practitioners felt that they had a lack of time available to recruit patients, patient computer literacy was limited and there was a need for face-to-face contact.

Conclusion:  The perspectives of patients and health-care providers show variation based on their experience with DietAdvice, their focus on nutrition and their role in the health-care system. Automated technologies are likely to play a significant part in the future of dietetics.