Lawless, C.1, Wakeham N.1, Buring, T. 1 & McGrath, A 1.

1 Division Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care, SALHN, SA Health


Background: A paper based pamphlet is the traditional means of delivering generic nutritional information to patients. However, in an increasingly technology driven health environment, a digital application (app) may be an alternative to deliver nutrition information to patients in an interactive way.

Aims:  To develop and pilot an app, to allow patients to undertake self-directed or clinician-supported learning on the general principals of a High Protein and Energy (HPE) diet.

Methods:  The app content was written by dietitians who are expert in delivering nutrition information to patients; based on evidence and current food and food product knowledge. The app was designed and created by the SALHN Telerehab IT specialist and piloted with consumers and clinicians. The app was continually modified based on feedback regarding readability, ease of use and visual appeal, until it was well accepted by consumers.

Results: Initial data suggests the introduction of a HPE diet app is an effective, enjoyable and engaging way to support patient learning. The app allows patients to complete a pre and post learning quiz, in order to understand baseline knowledge and provide an outcome measure for patients’ knowledge gain. The app also includes a survey to gather feedback after each use so, that the platform can continue to be improved.

Conclusions:  The app has been used successfully in a home rehabilitation setting. Future plans are to explore the use of the app in other settings and to create additional apps covering different nutrition topics.

Natalie Wakeham

Natalie Wakeham is the Acting Director for Dietetics in the Rehabilitation, Aged and Palliative Care Division in SALHN and has significant experience in clinical practice in a rehabilitation setting. She has expertise designing and maintaining therapy interventions and quality initiatives for rehabilitation patients. Natalie is leading her dietetics team to strive to continuously improve the service and innovate in line with evidence based guidelines. She is passionate about interdisciplinary practice and improving the patient’s hospital experience and is currently working on several projects in this space.

Cassandra Lawless

Cassandra Lawless is an enthusiastic Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and author who has worked with rehabilitation clients ​for the majority of her career. Cassandra uses food science to underpin her practice in helping clients reach their optimum health and has a particular interest in best nutrition to prevent sarcopenia and frailty. She continually strives to modernise health care and has spent the last year working with IT to develop a high energy high protein application. She is also currently undertaking her Honours degree looking at the validity of digitally diagnosing malnutrition.

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