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Action-based methods such as behavioural experiments, role-play and (by extension) ‘chairwork’ are powerful techniques recommended in core supervisory texts for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Despite this, experiential methods are seldom used by supervisors, suggesting that supervision often drifts from a ‘doing process’ to a ‘talking process’. A number of factors contribute to this divergence from best practice, including limited confidence and a lack of familiarity with experiential procedures amongst supervisors. To address this, the current paper presents a variety of action-based techniques for enhancing supervisees’ technical, perceptual, interpersonal, reflective and personal competencies. Behavioural experiments, empty-chair, multi-chair and role-playing exercises for maintaining treatment fidelity, enhancing empathic attunement, repairing therapeutic ruptures, resolving impasses and working through negative countertransference are described, amongst others. Further research is needed to establish the nature and extent of supervisory drift, as well as the efficacy of action-based methods.
Key learning aims
As a result of reading this paper, readers should:
(1) Understand why supervision sometimes drifts from being a ‘doing’ process.
(2) Appreciate the value of experiential, action-based supervisory methods.
(3) Feel competent using action-based methods to enhance supervisees’ clinical skills.
To describe why and how capacity-building systems for scaling up nutrition programmes should be constructed in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
Position paper with task force recommendations based on literature review and joint experience of global nutrition programmes, public health nutrition (PHN) workforce size, organization, and pre-service and in-service training.
The review is global but the recommendations are made for LMIC scaling up multisectoral nutrition programmes.
The multitude of PHN workers, be they in the health, agriculture, education, social welfare, or water and sanitation sector, as well as the community workers who ensure outreach and coverage of nutrition-specific and -sensitive interventions.
Overnutrition and undernutrition problems affect at least half of the global population, especially those in LMIC. Programme guidance exists for undernutrition and overnutrition, and priority for scaling up multisectoral programmes for tackling undernutrition in LMIC is growing. Guidance on how to organize and scale up such programmes is scarce however, and estimates of existing PHN workforce numbers – although poor – suggest they are also inadequate. Pre-service nutrition training for a PHN workforce is mostly clinical and/or food science oriented and in-service nutrition training is largely restricted to infant and young child nutrition.
Unless increased priority and funding is given to building capacity for scaling up nutrition programmes in LMIC, maternal and child undernutrition rates are likely to remain high and nutrition-related non-communicable diseases to escalate. A hybrid distance learning model for PHN workforce managers’ in-service training is urgently needed in LMIC.
Intakes of micronutrient-rich foods are low among Indian women of reproductive age. We investigated whether consumption of a food-based micronutrient-rich snack increased markers of blood micronutrient concentrations when compared with a control snack. Non-pregnant women (n 222) aged 14–35 years living in a Mumbai slum were randomised to receive a treatment snack (containing green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and whole milk powder), or a control snack containing foods of low micronutrient content such as wheat flour, potato and tapioca. The snacks were consumed under observation 6 d per week for 12 weeks, compliance was recorded, and blood was collected at 0 and 12 weeks. Food-frequency data were collected at both time points. Compliance (defined as the proportion of women who consumed ≥ 3 snacks/week) was >85 % in both groups. We assessed the effects of group allocation on 12-week nutrient concentrations using ANCOVA models with respective 0-week concentrations, BMI, compliance, standard of living, fruit and green leafy vegetable consumption and use of synthetic nutrients as covariates. The treatment snack significantly increased β-carotene concentrations (treatment effect: 47·1 nmol/l, 95 % CI 6·5, 87·7). There was no effect of group allocation on concentrations of ferritin, retinol, ascorbate, folate or vitamin B12. The present study shows that locally sourced foods can be made into acceptable snacks that may increase serum β-carotene concentrations among women of reproductive age. However, no increase in circulating concentrations of the other nutrients measured was observed.
There is evidence that subclinical vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is common in India. Vegetarianism is prevalent and therefore meat consumption is low. Our objective was to explore the contribution of B12-source foods and maternal B12 status during pregnancy to plasma B12 concentrations.
Maternal plasma B12 concentrations were measured during pregnancy. Children’s dietary intakes and plasma B12 concentrations were measured at age 9·5 years; B12 and total energy intakes were calculated using food composition databases. We used linear regression to examine associations between maternal B12 status and children’s intakes of B12 and B12-source foods, and children’s plasma B12 concentrations.
South Indian city of Mysore and surrounding rural areas.
Children from the Mysore Parthenon Birth Cohort (n 512, 47·1 % male).
Three per cent of children were B12 deficient (<150 pmol/l). A further 14 % had ‘marginal’ B12 concentrations (150–221 pmol/l). Children’s total daily B12 intake and consumption frequencies of meat and fish, and micronutrient-enriched beverages were positively associated with plasma B12 concentrations (P=0·006, P=0·01 and P=0·04, respectively, adjusted for socio-economic indicators and maternal B12 status). Maternal pregnancy plasma B12 was associated with children’s plasma B12 concentrations, independent of current B12 intakes (P<0·001). Milk and curd (yoghurt) intakes were unrelated to B12 status.
Meat and fish are important B12 sources in this population. Micronutrient-enriched beverages appear to be important sources in our cohort, but their high sugar content necessitates care in their recommendation. Improving maternal B12 status in pregnancy may improve Indian children’s status.
To outline a framework and a process for assessing the needs for capacity development to achieve nutrition objectives, particularly those targeting maternal and child undernutrition.
Commentary and conceptual framework.
Low- and middle-income countries.
A global movement to invest in a package of essential nutrition interventions to reduce maternal and child undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries is building momentum. Capacity to act in nutrition is known to be minimal in most low- and middle-income countries, and there is a need for conceptual clarity about capacity development as a strategic construct and the processes required to realise the ability to achieve population nutrition and health objectives. The framework for nutrition capacity development proposed recognises capacity to be determined by a range of factors across at least four levels, including system, organisational, workforce and community levels. This framework provides a scaffolding to guide systematic assessment of capacity development needs which serves to inform strategic planning for capacity development.
Capacity development is a critical prerequisite for achieving nutrition and health objectives, but is currently constrained by ambiguous and superficial conceptualisations of what capacity development involves and how it can be realised. The current paper provides a framework to assist this conceptualisation, encourage debate and ongoing refinement, and progress capacity development efforts.
To test the feasibility of a pan-European professional recognition system for public health nutrition.
A multistage consultation process was used to test the feasibility of a model system for public health nutritionist certification. A review of existing national-level systems for professional quality assurance was conducted via literature review and a web-based search, followed by direct inquiries among stakeholders. This information was used to construct a consultation document circulated to key stakeholders summarising the rationale of the proposed system and inviting feedback about the feasibility of the system. Two consultation workshops were also held. The qualitative data gathered through the consultation were collated and thematically analysed.
Public health nutrition workforce stakeholders across twenty-nine countries in the European Union.
One hundred and forty-five contacts/experts representing twenty-nine countries were contacted with responses received from a total of twenty-eight countries. The system proposed involved a certification system of professional peer review of an applicant's professional practice portfolio, utilising systems supported by information technology for document management and distribution similar to peer-review journals. Through the consultation process it was clear that there was overall agreement with the model proposed although some points of caution and concern were raised, including the need for a robust quality assurance framework that ensures transparency and is open to scrutiny.
The consultation process suggested that the added value of such a system goes beyond workforce development to enhancing recognition of the important role of public health nutrition as a professional discipline in the European public health workforce.
The present paper describes a model for public health nutrition practice designed to facilitate practice improvement and provide a step-wise approach to assist with workforce development.
The bi-cycle model for public health nutrition practice has been developed based on existing cyclical models for intervention management but modified to integrate discrete capacity-building practices.
Education and practice settings.
This model will have applications for educators and practitioners.
Modifications to existing models have been informed by the authors’ observations and experiences as practitioners and educators, and reflect a conceptual framework with applications in workforce development and practice improvement. From a workforce development and educational perspective, the model is designed to reflect adult learning principles, exposing students to experiential, problem-solving and practical learning experiences that reflect the realities of work as a public health nutritionist. In doing so, it assists the development of competency beyond knowing to knowing how, showing how and doing. This progression of learning from knowledge to performance is critical to effective competency development for effective practice.
Public health nutrition practice is dynamic and varied, and models need to be adaptable and applicable to practice context to have utility. The paper serves to stimulate debate in the public health nutrition community, to encourage critical feedback about the validity, applicability and utility of this model in different practice contexts.
This paper tests whether the social information provided by the internet affects the decision to participate in politics. In a field experiment, subjects could choose to sign petitions and donate money to support causes. Participants were randomized into treatment groups that received varying information about how many other people had participated and a control group receiving no social information. Results show that social information has a varying effect according to the numbers provided, which is strongest when there are more than a million other participants, supporting claims about critical mass, and tipping points in political participation.