The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions and experiences of early adopters of the technology.
Registered dietitians (RDs) (n=14) were recruited from the UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Israel. Six qualitative interviews and two focus groups were conducted online using a conference calling platform. Data were recorded, transcribed and thematically analyzed.
Early adopters of nutrigenomics (NGx) were experienced, self-efficacious RDs who actively sought knowledge of NGx through communication with one another and the broader scientific community. They considered NGx an extension of current practice and believed RDs had the skills to deliver it. Perceived barriers to widening the application of NGx were linked to skepticism among the wider dietetics community. Proliferation of unregulated websites offering tests and diets was considered “pseudoscience” and detrimental to dietetics fully embracing NGx. Lack of a sustainable public health model for the delivery of NGx was also perceived to hinder progress. Results are discussed with reference to “diffusion of innovation theory.”
The views of RDs who practice NGx have not been previously studied. These data highlight requirements for future dietetic training provision and more inclusive service delivery models. Regulation of NGx services and formal recognition by professional bodies is needed to address the research/practice translation gap. Further research is required to inquire as to the views of the wider dietetics profession.
The authors wish to convey their sincere gratitude to the dietitians who so generously gave their time to take part in this research. Conflict of interest: MA has worked with several start-ups as a consultant in the area of nutrigenetic testing. This research has not been supported by a research award or allocation of external financial resources.
Abrahams, M., Frewer, L., Bryant, E. and Stewart-Knox, B. (2018), "Perceptions and experiences of early-adopting registered dietitians in integrating nutrigenomics into practice", British Food Journal, Vol. 120 No. 4, pp. 763-776. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-08-2017-0464Download as .RIS
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