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Dietetics

Introduction

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
- Hippocrates

Optimal nutrition is essential for good health and well-being. Nutritional requirements change through the different life stages and diseases. If you have been concerned about your ailing health or simply wondering if you are getting adequate nutrition, then fret no longer as the team of dietitians at SKH are at your service! We will understand your needs, conduct a thorough nutritional assessment and provide evidence-based and tailored nutrition advice, to empower you to take charge of your health.

On top of delivering clinical nutrition services in the inpatient and outpatient settings, SKH dietitians also conduct research, education and community outreach programmes that encompass the SKH vision and mission on healthy living, fulfilling life by promoting better health together. Please explore the various links to find out more about the exciting department initiatives.

Services

Clinical Services

SKH dietitians provide clinical services in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The dietitians also work closely with other health care professionals, including various multi-disciplinary programmes (please scroll down to the ‘Programmes’ tab for more details).

The patient is referred to the dietitian by a doctor when nutrition assessment and intervention is indicated. The dietitian provides medical nutrition therapy to patients, which comprises of nutritional assessment by taking into account the patient’s medical history, diet history and body composition measurements such as triceps skinfold, handgrip strength and body impedance analysis. Thereafter, the dietitian develops an individualised nutrition care plan to help better optimise the patient’s health condition.

SKH Dietitians provide diet counselling and nutrition management to a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions including (but not limited to):


The team of SKH Dietitian also provides nutritional support for patients who are critically-ill or malnourished. Type of nutritional support include:

  • Oral nutritional supplements
  • Tube feeding
  • Parental nutrition


Contact Us

For a dietitian’s outpatient appointment, please contact SKH Appointment Centre at 6930 6000. A referral letter from a doctor is required. Video consultation services are also available as part of outpatient services.

Group Education

SKH Dietitians run various group education workshops and hands-on cooking demonstrations to patients and caregivers to support self-care nutrition management in chronic diseases and other conditions, including SKH Diabetes Workshop (Step up, Know your diabetes, be Healthy), Diabetes & Ramadan Workshop and Bariatric Support Group etc.

Food Services

SKH dietitians have contributed to the development of therapeutic diets and work with the Food Services Department in the hospital to ensure that food served to patients are nutritious and suitable for different medical conditions and dietary restrictions.

Programmes

SKH Dietetics work as a team with the other healthcare professionals to run programmes for various populations. These programmes are tailored to the medical conditions of the individuals with the aim of helping them achieve their dietary goals.

Sengkang Weight Improvement Therapy & Complete Health (SWITCH)

This is a programme with a multidisciplinary approach to help individuals lead a healthy lifestyle and in the process, achieve long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. The dietitian is part of the multidisciplinary team which also comprises of bariatric physicians and surgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists and physiotherapists.

Bariatric Nutrition Programme (BNP)

The BNP is specially developed for individuals planning to go for bariatric surgery. The individualised, structured programme includes 7 visits over 6 months and consists of comprehensive pre- and post-operative dietary assessments and interventions by a dietitian. It helps identify and address additional factors that may potentially impact on nutritional status pre- and post-surgery. The programme aims to support individuals to follow dietary recommendations at various stages, minimise side effects of surgery and maximise excess weight loss.

Programme for Enhanced Elderly Recovery @ SKH (PEERS)

Frail elderly individuals experience increased morbidity and mortality after surgery, so this prehabilitation programme aims to intervene and improve outcomes by optimising their nutritional and physical function prior to elective surgery. These patients undergo a 2-3 week programme with scheduled dietitian visits, where tailored dietary advice and a nutrition supplement regime is provided to patients to ensure adequate nutrition is achieved, and pre-surgery nutritional status is optimised.

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Training Programme

For patients on peritoneal dialysis, good nutrition is needed to prevent malnutrition-related complications such as infections and muscle wasting. For patients newly started on peritoneal dialysis, the dietitian will review their diet, blood results and conduct physical measurements to assess their nutritional status, so as to prescribe the most appropriate diet.

Nutrition Swallow Clinic (NSC)

Patients with swallowing difficulties may also require a dietitian review to ensure adequate nutrition. To provide timely intervention and coordinated care on safe eating and nutritious dietary options to patients and caregivers, those enrolled in this clinic will be reviewed by both the dietitian and speech therapist in the same setting. This reduces the need for separate appointments and increases the convenience for patients and caregivers.

Education

SKH dietitians are very much invested in education as the department not only believes in the quote ‘in teaching others, we teach ourselves’, but also that the knowledge shared ultimately benefits patients.

Dietetics students

SKH Dietetics is involved in clinical placements for both local and overseas final year Dietetics students. An experienced dietitian will work closely with the university coordinator to facilitate the students’ learning, enabling them to translate theoretical knowledge into clinical practice during their 10-week clinical placement. This is done through providing the students with appropriate learning opportunities and guidance in the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient settings.

Inter-professional Education

SKH dietitians actively come up with initiatives to promote inter-professional education. Recently, a team of dietitians in the department developed course materials on the institution’s e-learning platform for junior doctors, with the objective of equipping them with basic nutritional knowledge for safe initial nutrition-related decisions (e.g. ordering the correct therapeutic diet / nutrition formula for a patient) before a dietitian comes in to do a proper nutritional assessment and intervention.

SKH dietitians also conduct various evidence-based nutrition talks for other healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses and other allied health to increase their nutritional knowledge in specific areas. Some examples include:

  • training SKH nurses on the administration of a nutrition screening tool to help identify and refer patients who are malnourished to the dietitian for appropriate nutritional assessment and intervention

  • giving a talk to General Practitioners at a forum on the scientific evidence and application of a low FODMAP diet for patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Community Services

  

SKH dietitians embody the SKH mission “Better Health Together” by working closely with the community to build a culture of healthy living. Dietitians continuously support and promote the health of the community by providing nutrition talks, workshops, community engagements, supermarket tour, cooking demonstrations and media replies. Below are some of the contributions made by our SKH dietitians towards the community.

Community Health Fair

In collaboration with other healthcare professionals, SKH dietitians organised various community engagements aimed at increasing awareness on the importance of nutrition for good health in which they shared facts and practical tips on preventing cancer, beating diabetes, ageing well etc.

Individual Physical Proficiency Test for Senior (IPPT-S) & Promoting Healthy Longevity through Mitigation and Prevention of Frailty in Community-dwelling Elderly (ProLIFE)

IPPT-S and ProLIFE are programmes that partner Senior Activity Centres, Community Clubs and Resident Committees to screen for frailty in seniors aged 55 and above. Dietitians help to identify nutrition risk factors, conduct group nutrition classes and talks, provide supermarket tours and facilitate engaging games as part of the intervention to improve the nutrition statuses of community seniors in a fun and interactive way.

Merdeka Graceful Ageing By InTentionally Eating Smart (MeGA-BITES)

MeGA-BITES is one of the community nutrition education programmes organised by the SKH Department of Dietetics. This programme targeted patients in the Merdeka Generation as well as their caregivers with the intention to empower them with nutrition knowledge for graceful ageing through nutrition talks, group activities and cooking demonstration.

Millennia Kids Programme (MKP)

MKP is a programme initiated by Sengkang Health together with partner organisations, Health Promotion Board, Sport Singapore and TFG2000. SKH dietitians aim to cultivate the knowledge and attitude of primary school students towards healthy eating so they can be the ambassadors of better health amongst their family and friends.

World Alzeimer’s Day (WAD)

WAD is one of the key examples that showcases the versatility of SKH dietitians in providing useful tips on how to improve the food intake and nutrition statuses for People with Dementia (PWD) via physical game booths before COVID-19 and an online webinar after COVID-19.

Media Replies

Recognising social media as a great way to form connections with the general public, SKH dietitians contribute various media posts on SKH’s social media platforms where evidence-based nutrition information are disseminated to the community and nutritional misinformation given by pseudoexperts are debunked. Please refer to ‘Resources’ tab for more details.


Resources

Tips for Mindful Eating

https://www.facebook.com/411127015637864/posts/2605767609507116/?d=n

Sustainable Healthy Eating

Join our Dietitians in a four-part video series to learn more on incorporating concepts of sustainability into your diet and lifestyle for a healthier, better you and the Earth!

  1. What is sustainable healthy living & eating?
  2. The 3Rs to sustainable healthy eating: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  3. Reduce food waste and encourage more plant-based food
  4. Cooking demonstration: Tofu Scramble

Recipes

Nutritious Stir-fried Beancurd

https://www.skh.com.sg/news/patient-care/healthy-vegetarian-recipe-nutritious-stir-fried-beancurd#

Healthy Nasi Lemak

https://www.skh.com.sg/news/patient-care/healthier-option-of-nasi-lemak-with-only-half-the-fats

Chicken Roulade

https://www.healthxchange.sg/news/chicken-roulade-mushroom-spinach-stuffed-chicken

Golden Wholemeal Breakfast Cup Recipe ​Steamed Purple Sweet Potato Gingko Nut Egg Pudding Recipe

    

Research

SingHealth Allied Health Conference 2021

  • Oral presentation
    • Makan Away Frailty - An Innovative Board Game to Empower Singapore Seniors with Nutrition Knowledge to Combat Frailty - Candy Chan Hiu Nam, Cherie Tong Chung Yan
    • Empowering Nurses to Enhance Nutritional Care at Home – Lee Rui Jia, Candy Chan Hiu Nam, Cherie Tong Chung Yan
  • Poster presentation
    • Nutrition Support During Prehabilitation for Geriatric Surgical Patients – Are We Doing Enough? – Lee Hui Bing, Phoebe Tay, Cherie Tong
    • Malnutrition amongst patients with acute hip fracture, is it here in Singapore? – Alexis Ng Wei Leng, Candy Chan Hiu Nam, Cherie Tong Chung Yan


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FAQs

Who can benefit from seeing a dietitian?

Anyone looking to make healthy modifications to their diet can benefit from seeing a dietitian. Whether you are looking for nutrition advice to improve your health or to manage or reduce the risk of chronic disease, a dietitian will be able to help you.

What can I expect at my first dietitian visit?

The dietitian will conduct a comprehensive review of your medical history, any health concerns, your current dietary pattern and understand your desired health outcomes before working with you to provide the necessary nutritional intervention to meet your health goals.

What about follow up sessions?

Most people return for follow-up sessions for further education, accountability and support. Frequency and time between visits will be based upon your personal needs and preferences and will be established with you at your first visit.


 
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