Providing dietary advice in primary care

Examining ethical challenges in primary care nutrition, exploring the demanding nature of dietary advice and emphasising the need for enhanced ethical competence among healthcare professionals.

  • Period: 2023-02-01 – 2027-01-31
  • Budget: 4,000,000 SEK
  • Funder: Internal funding
  • Type of funding: Projektbidrag

Ethical dilemmas, ethical competence and evaluation of an educational intervention

Nutrition therapy is about improving the health of an individual by changing the quantities, qualities and methods of their nutrient intake. It is an everyday occurrence in healthcare, not least in primary care. But offering dietary advise can be charged and challenging. The dieticians and nurses who offer this advice often face difficult and uncomfortable situations. This can cause work-related stress and ethical dilemmas. This project exploes just this.

More knowledge about what ethical competence is needed among those who offer dietary advice in primary care. There is also a need for methods to develop this competence and keep it sustained at a high level. Within this project, a pedagogical intervention on ethics and ethical competence will be developed and its feasibility evaluated.

The project will provide a better understanding of the ethical aspects of offering dietary advice in Swedish primary care. Exploring the experiences of nurses and dieticians offering dietary advice and focusing on the challenges in their everyday work, examining whether ethical stress and ethical competence are somehow correlated, and integrate normative ethical theories with empirical results to develop ethical guidance for healthcare professionals who offer dietary advice.

Empirical methods used include a qualitative interview study, a quantitative survey, and a feasibility study. These will be complemented by a theoretical ethical analysis in the shape of a theoretical study.


This PhD project is part of the graduate program in medical humanities at Uppsala University.

People in the project