Background: The full liquid diet has been used as a transitional diet for the past 100 years. The current dietary advancements in a clinical setting include transitioning from nil per Os (NPO) to a clear liquid diet, to a full liquid diet and to a regular diet or diet as tolerated prior to discharge. The full liquid diet contains mainly milk and milk products including pudding, ice cream, oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream based soups, and any other liquid foods allowed on the clear liquid diet. Objective: To determine the opinions of clinical dietitians on the use of the full liquid diet. Design: Exploratory, qualitative study. An electronic survey using Qualtrics Survey Software was sent through the Medical Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Survey results were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (IBM SPSS Statistics 20). Participants: All members of the Medical Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (MNDPG) were invited to participate in the survey. A total of 1914 dietitians are members of the MNDPG. Main outcome measures: To analyze the responses of clinical dietitians on the use of the full liquid diet. Statistical analyses performed: Chi-Squared test, means including average, mode, median, and percentages. Results: Of the 1,914 surveys delivered, 25 responses were collected. The final usable samples included 24 RDs of which 100% were female, 48% worked in a Community Hospital, 40% specialized in General Medicine, and the average number of years as a practicing RD was 13.5 years. Exactly half of the RDs believe that a solid-food diet would be well tolerated by post-operative patients and half of the RDs believe that a solid-food diet would not be well tolerated. In response to the full liquid diet having a positive contribution to the care of the post-operative GI patient, 7/24 responded with yes, 11/24 responded no and 6/24 responded with “other.” Conclusions: This study provided insight into the current practicing members of the MNDPG relative to the use of the full liquid diet. Future studies are advised to more precisely examine the use of the full liquid diet, the education of physicians on the ordering of diets, and to reassess the use of the full liquid diet pertaining to the fact that dietitians are now allowed to make diet orders.
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