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What factors are associated with the number of consultations per dietetic treatment.

Tol, J., Swinkels, I., Veenhof, C. What factors are associated with the number of consultations per dietetic treatment. Nutrition & Dietetics: 2012, 69(Suppl. 1), p. 65. Abstract. 16th International Congress of Dietetics. 5-8 september 2012, Sydney.
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Little is known about the costs and effectiveness of dietetic healthcare. In order to study these effects, it is important to increase transparency in dietetic treatment, for example by comparing consultation sessions. This study examined variation and explored variables that were associated with the number of consultations per treatment. Data were used from the National Information Service for Allied Health Care (LiPZ). LiPZ is a Dutch registration network of allied healthcare professionals, including primary healthcare working dietitians. Data were used from 6,496 patients who underwent dietetic treatment between 2006 and 2009, treated by 27 dietitians working in private practices. Data collection was based on the long-term computerized registration of health- care-related information on patients, reimbursement, treatment and health problems. Poisson multilevel regression analyses were used to model consultation sessions and to account for the clustered data structure. Adjusted for patients’ demographics, therapy-related and health- related factors, the mean number of consultations was 4.9 and varied between dietitians with a 95% coverage interval from 2.3 to 10.1 consultations per treatment. Certain groups of patients used significantly (p < 0.05) more dietetic healthcare compared to others. These were older patients, females, the native Dutch, patients with a history of dietetic healthcare, patients who started the treatment on their own initiative, and patients with psychiatric problems, multiple diagnoses, overweight, or binge eating disorder. Most of the variation in consultation sessions was found to be due to patient-related factors. However, considerable variation was caused by dietitians. More research is necessary to examine factors that explain this variation. (aut. ref.)