What do readers want? Results of an online survey to involve readers in updating the seventh edition of the Manual of dietetic practice

Linda Wedlake, Duane Mellor, Tom Marriott, Kate Maslin, Gary Frost, Mary Hickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The Manual of dietetic practice ('Manual') is the core textbook for qualified and student dietitians. A survey was conducted to explore views on the scope, content and presentation of the Manual to inform the forthcoming edition.

METHODS: The survey comprised of questions on demographics, structure, content, access (print/digital), missing topics, strengths and weaknesses. It was distributed to members of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and other relevant groups in August 2022. Responses are presented as frequencies and free text as themes.

RESULTS: Of 1179 responses, 91% were from professionals, of whom 72% were registered dietitians with a mean of 12.7 years (range: 1-44) in practice: 60% worked in the United Kingdom with 52% based in a clinical setting. The printed version was preferred: 59% professionals, 60% students, 94% professionals and 88% students were satisfied with the structure; however, 26% professionals and 22% students identified content that was lacking or outdated, including mental health and sustainability. The strengths were its comprehensive coverage and respected contributing authors. Weaknesses included the cost, size, lack of visual aids and currency. Professionals indicated the seventh edition should focus on more practical information required for clinical practice, whereas students wanted more emphasis on summarised information and visual formats.

CONCLUSIONS: The survey proved a valuable method to engage with the readership to ensure the next edition reflected their requirements. Although nearly all respondents were satisfied with the scope and content, the results highlighted those topics lacking and/or outdated. Results also showed that the next edition should focus on practical information required for clinical practice, with more summarised and visual formats.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Early online date15 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Dietetic Association.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Manual of dietetic practice
  • online survey
  • professional practice
  • textbook


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