Perceptions of patients and dietitians on the quality of nutrition care service delivery in primary health care facilities of the Western Cape Metro
Introduction: The provision of quality nutrition care services is needed to address the national burden of diseases, and to reduce under- and overnutrition in South Africa. Globally, there is a lack of information and data about the perceptions, experience of, and satisfaction with the quality of nutrition care services, both from patients and dietitians. Patients and dietitians are in the best position to provide useful information pertaining to their perception and experience of nutrition care service delivery. The aim of this study was to determine the perceptions of patients and dietitians on the quality of nutrition care service delivery in the Klipfontein/Mitchells Plain Sub-Structure (KMPSS). Methodology: This cross-sectional descriptive study design employed a mixed method approach. All patients consulted by the dietitians on the dates of data collection were conveniently sampled (n=120) across three Primary Health Care facilities in KMPSS (Hanover Park Community Health Centre (CHC), Mitchells Plain CHC and Heideveld Community Day Centre (CDC)) for participation in the quantitative component of the study. An interview-administered survey was used to gather information about patients’ perceptions and experiences of nutrition care services. For the qualitative component, an all-inclusive sample of the four dietitians’ employed in KMPSS participated in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The FGD included open-endAnalysis: The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to generate descriptive statistics for the quantitative data. Thematic analysis was used for the transcriptions of the FGD audio-recordings. The themes and sub-themes was identified through summaries and key findings on the perceptions of the quality of nutrition care service delivery through views and opinions.ed questions developed by the researcher to explore the perceptions of the dietitians on the quality of nutrition care service delivery. Results: The quantitative results found that participants strongly agreed with positive statements regarding the dietitians’ interpersonal skills, manner in which they presented themselves, and communicating health information. Nearly 80% of the participants perceived dietitians as being well presented, courteous, friendly, and polite, created a comfortable environment and were always on time for their appointments. Eighty percent (80%) of the participants were also satisfied with the nutrition care services provided by the dietitians in KMPSS. The qualitative findings revealed that the dietitians’ had both negative and positive perceptions of the nutrition care service delivered within KMPSS. The dietitians’ expressed the need to improve the quality of nutrition care through management making and availability of necessary resources. This would enhance their work performance, communication and leadership skills. Conclusion: The key results and findings of this study concur with other research that has been done within the dietetics profession. There is a need to promote quality nutrition care in dietetics by utilizing perceptions and experiences of patients and dietitians. It is imperative for continuous quality improvement initiatives in nutrition care to improve patient health outcomes in South Africa.