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Gastroenterology trainee experience, confidence and satisfaction in nutrition training: a cross-sectional survey in the UK
  1. Stephanie Sartain1,
  2. Charlotte Wong2,3,
  3. Emma Murray4,
  4. Suneil A Raju5,6,
  5. Amy Woods7,
  6. Daniel Ashmore8,
  7. Lovesh Dyall2,3,
  8. Flora Kokwaro9,
  9. Eilidh McGowan10,
  10. David Leiberman11,
  11. Emma Routledge12,
  12. Emily Clarke1,
  13. Trevor R Smith1
  1. 1 Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  2. 2 Department of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, St Mark's the National Bowel Hospital and Academic Institute, London, UK
  3. 3 Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Chemical Pathology, HCS Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK
  5. 5 Academic Department of Gastroenterology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  6. 6 Academic Unit of Gastroenterology, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  7. 7 Intestinal Failure Unit, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford, UK
  8. 8 Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster, UK
  9. 9 Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK
  10. 10 Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  11. 11 Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport, UK
  12. 12 Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stephanie Sartain, Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK; stephanie.sartain{at}


Introduction Nutrition is an essential part of gastroenterology specialist training. There is limited evidence of trainee experience in this area. The shorter training programme introduced in 2022 may lead to reduced exposure to this subspecialty. We aimed to explore and describe current nutrition training experiences, confidence and satisfaction to inform future improvements.

Methods Gastroenterology trainees were invited to participate in an online survey from 20 May 2022 to 18 July 2022. The questionnaire consisted of 27 questions with a range of free-text and Likert scale responses.

Results 86 responses were received. 39.5% had undertaken an advanced training programme or core placement in nutrition. 52.9% of these felt ‘fairly confident’ or ‘very confident’ in managing intestinal failure vs 5.8% of those who had not completed a nutrition placement. Obesity and eating disorders management received the lowest ratings. Nutrition training was described as ‘fairly important’ or ‘very important’ by 98.8% and 47.0% included nutrition as part of their preferred future practice. 53.1% of ST6/7 trainees were ‘fairly confident’ or ‘very confident’ their training offered adequate experience in nutrition. Participants reported barriers including a lack of education and training opportunities, and limited early rotations offering nutrition training.

Conclusion Gastroenterology trainees believe nutrition training to be important. Nutrition placements increase trainee confidence, knowledge and experiences overall, but there is variability in this. Improved structuring of placements, increased educational opportunities and exposure to this subspecialty at an earlier stage are required to ensure competency in nutrition is reliably achieved during gastroenterology training.


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Data are available on reasonable request. Data available on request, including data not published within the article.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data available on request, including data not published within the article.

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  • X @GastroDrSmith

  • Contributors SS: conception, survey design, data analysis and writing manuscript. CW: survey design, interpretation of results and writing manuscript. EM: survey design and creation of survey, data interpretation. AW: data interpretation and writing manuscript. DA: data interpretation and drafting of manuscript. SAR: advice on survey dissemination, sharing of BSG trainees survey results. ER: data interpretation. EM: writing of the manuscript. DL, FK and LD: survey design and data interpretation. EC and TRS: advice on content and drafting of manuscript. All authors critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version that was submitted. SS is responsible for overall content as guarantor

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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