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IMPORTANCE OF DIET COUNSELLING AND PATIENT EDUCATION
The major objective of dietary counselling is to educate the patient regarding the nature of the disease, its hazards, how a disease can be recognized and prevented. It is essential to advice the patient on personal hygiene, individual instructions on diet and any specific therapy needed.
Diet counselling makes the patient aware of the fact that diet plays an important role in the treatment of the disease. With today's emphasis on prevention of disease, diet counselling helps to reduce the risk of some illness by appropriate counselling.
Diet counselling is effective when the counsellor assists the patient in setting realistic goals and provides the necessary guidance in menu planning, food purchasing and preparation.
1. Review medical record before counselling.
2. Provide a comfortable setting - undivided attention of the counsellor is essential.
3. Set a time in advance.
4. Counsellor should introduce herself and address the patient by name.
5. Listen effectively - eye to eye contact is necessary
6.note feelings and tone of voice
8.Interrupt only when clarification is needed
9. Ask open ended questions.
10. Do not express approval or disapproval till data gathering is complete.
11. Avoid using medical terms and be prepared to explain.
12. Set Realistic objectives.
13. Prepare an individualized written dietary plan with the patient.
14. Give the patient opportunity to ask questions.
15. Bring the counselling session to a close. If follow up is needed set a time for next appointment.
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