Revista de Nutrição
Print version ISSN 1415-5273
CAMOSSA, Ana Cristina do Amaral; TELAROLLI JUNIOR, Rodolpho and MACHADO, Maria Lúcia Teixeira. What dieticians do, in practice and in theory, in the family health strategy: views of health team professional. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.1, pp. 89-106. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732012000100009.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate how professionals in family health teams view what dieticians do in practice and in theory. The study was done in Family Healthcare Units of a municipality in the state of São Paulo. METHODS: The qualitative methodology was used on 27 deliberately chosen professionals. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. Thematic analysis and the Social Representation Theory were used for data interpretation. RESULTS: Four themes emerged from the analysis: dietician in the family health strategy; family health team's approach to dietary issues; nutrition education; and problematizing the absence of a dietician in the family health team. Dieticians were mainly viewed as individuals who prescribe diets. Nevertheless, the interviewees proved to have good knowledge about dieticians' functions and attributions. The importance of nutrition education for the promotion of healthy food practices was beyond doubt, even though the interviewees' views on the theme were superficial and poorly grounded. CONCLUSION: The absence of a dietician in the family health team was attributed to the following factors: low social recognition, professional devaluation, relatively new profession, unfamiliarity with the core competence of the dietician and maintenance of the hegemonic medical model. In conclusion, more studies are necessary to problematize the insertion of dieticians in family health teams.
Keywords : Food and nutrition education; Nutritionist; Social perception; Family health.