Registered dietitians' roles in decision-making processes: For PEG placement in the elderly

Maria O.P. Szeto, Julie O'Sullivan Maillet, Rebecca A. Brody, James Scott Parrott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The role of registered dietitians (RDs) in decision-making for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement was explored. The ethical climate in their workplace and the relationship between decision-making and the ethical climate were examined. Methods: The survey included 67 RDs in complex continuing care and long-term care settings in Ontario. Descriptive statistics were used to describe roles, ethical climate, and professional characteristics. Pearson's and nonparametric correlations were used to examine relationships between roles, ethical climate, and professional characteristics. Results: Among the respondents, 97% thought RDs had a role in decision-making processes. The majority of RDs were usually or always involved in two roles: identifying relevant nutrition issues (91.2%) and discussing feeding options and alternatives (80.7%). Dietitians' roles in decision-making processes were more extensive when their relationship with physicians was positive (r=0.321, P=0.016), they had adequate knowledge (r=0.465, P<0.001) and adequate skills (r=0.520, P<0.001), and they were more satisfied with their role (r=0.554, P<0.001). Conclusions: Registered dietitians performed a variety of roles in decision-making processes concerning PEG placement in the elderly. A positive working relationship with physicians, knowledge, skills, and role satisfaction significantly increase RDs' involvement with patients and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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