An innovative approach to the assessment of nutrient intake in adults with type 2 diabetes : the development, trial and evaluation of a mobile phone photo/voice dietary record

Rollo, Megan Elizabeth (2012) An innovative approach to the assessment of nutrient intake in adults with type 2 diabetes : the development, trial and evaluation of a mobile phone photo/voice dietary record. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Nutrition interventions in the form of both self-management education and individualised diet therapy are considered essential for the long-term management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The measurement of diet is essential to inform, support and evaluate nutrition interventions in the management of T2DM. Barriers inherent within health care settings and systems limit ongoing access to personnel and resources, while traditional prospective methods of assessing diet are burdensome for the individual and often result in changes in typical intake to facilitate recording. This thesis investigated the inclusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) to overcome limitations to current approaches in the nutritional management of T2DM, in particular the development, trial and evaluation of the Nutricam dietary assessment method (NuDAM) consisting of a mobile phone photo/voice application to assess nutrient intake in a free-living environment with older adults with T2DM.

Study 1: Effectiveness of an automated telephone system in promoting change in dietary intake among adults with T2DM The effectiveness of an automated telephone system, Telephone-Linked Care (TLC) Diabetes, designed to deliver self-management education was evaluated in terms of promoting dietary change in adults with T2DM and sub-optimal glycaemic control. In this secondary data analysis independent of the larger randomised controlled trial, complete data was available for 95 adults (59 male; mean age(±SD)=56.8±8.1 years; mean(±SD)BMI=34.2±7.0kg/m2). The treatment effect showed a reduction in total fat of 1.4% and saturated fat of 0.9% energy intake, body weight of 0.7 kg and waist circumference of 2.0 cm. In addition, a significant increase in the nutrition self-efficacy score of 1.3 (p<0.05) was observed in the TLC group compared to the control group. The modest trends observed in this study indicate that the TLC Diabetes system does support the adoption of positive nutrition behaviours as a result of diabetes self-management education, however caution must be applied in the interpretation of results due to the inherent limitations of the dietary assessment method used. The decision to use a close-list FFQ with known bias may have influenced the accuracy of reporting dietary intake in this instance. This study provided an example of the methodological challenges experienced with measuring changes in absolute diet using a FFQ, and reaffirmed the need for novel prospective assessment methods capable of capturing natural variance in usual intakes.

Study 2: The development and trial of NuDAM recording protocol The feasibility of the Nutricam mobile phone photo/voice dietary record was evaluated in 10 adults with T2DM (6 Male; age=64.7±3.8 years; BMI=33.9±7.0 kg/m2). Intake was recorded over a 3-day period using both Nutricam and a written estimated food record (EFR). Compared to the EFR, the Nutricam device was found to be acceptable among subjects, however, energy intake was under-recorded using Nutricam (-0.6±0.8 MJ/day; p<0.05). Beverages and snacks were the items most frequently not recorded using Nutricam; however forgotten meals contributed to the greatest difference in energy intake between records. In addition, the quality of dietary data recorded using Nutricam was unacceptable for just under one-third of entries. It was concluded that an additional mechanism was necessary to complement dietary information collected via Nutricam. Modifications to the method were made to allow for clarification of Nutricam entries and probing forgotten foods during a brief phone call to the subject the following morning. The revised recording protocol was evaluated in Study 4.

Study 3: The development and trial of the NuDAM analysis protocol Part A explored the effect of the type of portion size estimation aid (PSEA) on the error associated with quantifying four portions of 15 single foods items contained in photographs. Seventeen dietetic students (1 male; age=24.7±9.1 years; BMI=21.1±1.9 kg/m2) estimated all food portions on two occasions: without aids and with aids (food models or reference food photographs). Overall, the use of a PSEA significantly reduced mean (±SD) group error between estimates compared to no aid (-2.5±11.5% vs. 19.0±28.8%; p<0.05). The type of PSEA (i.e. food models vs. reference food photograph) did not have a notable effect on the group estimation error (-6.7±14.9% vs. 1.4±5.9%, respectively; p=0.321). This exploratory study provided evidence that the use of aids in general, rather than the type, was more effective in reducing estimation error. Findings guided the development of the Dietary Estimation and Assessment Tool (DEAT) for use in the analysis of the Nutricam dietary record.

Part B evaluated the effect of the DEAT on the error associated with the quantification of two 3-day Nutricam dietary records in a sample of 29 dietetic students (2 males; age=23.3±5.1 years; BMI=20.6±1.9 kg/m2). Subjects were randomised into two groups: Group A and Group B. For Record 1, the use of the DEAT (Group A) resulted in a smaller error compared to estimations made without the tool (Group B) (17.7±15.8%/day vs. 34.0±22.6%/day, p=0.331; respectively). In comparison, all subjects used the DEAT to estimate Record 2, with resultant error similar between Group A and B (21.2±19.2%/day vs. 25.8±13.6%/day; p=0.377 respectively). In general, the moderate estimation error associated with quantifying food items did not translate into clinically significant differences in the nutrient profile of the Nutricam dietary records, only amorphous foods were notably over-estimated in energy content without the use of the DEAT (57kJ/day vs. 274kJ/day; p<0.001). A large proportion (89.6%) of the group found the DEAT helpful when quantifying food items contained in the Nutricam dietary records. The use of the DEAT reduced quantification error, minimising any potential effect on the estimation of energy and macronutrient intake.

Study 4: Evaluation of the NuDAM The accuracy and inter-rater reliability of the NuDAM to assess energy and macronutrient intake was evaluated in a sample of 10 adults (6 males; age=61.2±6.9 years; BMI=31.0±4.5 kg/m2). Intake recorded using both the NuDAM and a weighed food record (WFR) was coded by three dietitians and compared with an objective measure of total energy expenditure (TEE) obtained using the doubly labelled water technique. At the group level, energy intake (EI) was under-reported to a similar extent using both methods, with the ratio of EI:TEE was 0.76±0.20 for the NuDAM and 0.76±0.17 for the WFR. At the individual level, four subjects reported implausible levels of energy intake using the WFR method, compared to three using the NuDAM. Overall, moderate to high correlation coefficients (r=0.57-0.85) were found across energy and macronutrients except fat (r=0.24) between the two dietary measures. High agreement was observed between dietitians for estimates of energy and macronutrient derived for both the NuDAM (ICC=0.77-0.99; p<0.001) and WFR (ICC=0.82-0.99; p<0.001). All subjects preferred using the NuDAM over the WFR to record intake and were willing to use the novel method again over longer recording periods.

This research program explored two novel approaches which utilised distinct technologies to aid in the nutritional management of adults with T2DM. In particular, this thesis makes a significant contribution to the evidence base surrounding the use of PhRs through the development, trial and evaluation of a novel mobile phone photo/voice dietary record. The NuDAM is an extremely promising advancement in the nutritional management of individuals with diabetes and other chronic conditions. Future applications lie in integrating the NuDAM with other technologies to facilitate practice across the remaining stages of the nutrition care process.

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ID Code: 50998
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Ash, Susan & Lyons-Wall, Philippa
Keywords: dietary assessment methods, doubly labelled water, food record, mobile phone, nutrient intake, photographic record, portion size estimation, type 2 diabetes mellitus
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 Jun 2012 04:11
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:18

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