Development of a Dietary Management Care Map for Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) refers to a particular cluster of metabolic abnormalities (hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and visceral fat deposition) that can lead to a 1.5- to 2-fold increased relative risk of cardiovascular disease. Various combinations of healthier eating patterns and increased physical activity have been shown to improve metabolic abnormalities and reduce MetS prevalence. Dietitians who counsel MetS patients are challenged to integrate guidance from various medical management guidelines and research studies with effective behavioural change strategies and specific advice on what food and eating pattern changes will be most effective, feasible, and acceptable to clients. As part of a demonstration project that is currently underway, we developed a care map (decision aid) that represents the key decision processes involved in diet counselling for MetS. The care map is based on evidence from both clinical and health behaviour change studies and expert consensus and has undergone limited dietitian review. It is being used to help project dietitians clearly articulate their specific food intake change goals. Additional studies to directly compare counselling strategies could inform future development of the map. In the meantime, dietitians may find this care map helpful in clarifying counselling goals and strategies in this client group.