Intervention specialist: New role for dietitians' counseling skills

P. W. Pace, M. L. Russell, J. L. Probstfield, William Insull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dietitians who want to expand their clinical responsibilities beyond dietary counseling should consider the role of the intervention specialist. The role is a logical expansion of the duties of the dietitian who is already serving as a health behavior counselor. The concept of dietitians' functioning as intervention specialists originated in clinical trials, when they served as adherence counselors. The intervention specialists in the clinical trials used the health behavior counseling process to help research participants adhere to the trials' protocols. This counseling process uses a systematic, problem-solving approach to assess, diagnose, intervene, and follow up on a targeted behavioral problem. Dietitians can prepare for the expanded counseling role of intervention specialist through interviewing and counseling skill assessment and further training. They must take an active role in defining how the services of an intervention specialist can be beneficial to physicians as well as to their patients. They should address the cost-effectiveness of behavior counseling in order to justify the increased initial costs. Dietitians will need to actively promote the role of intervention specialist in the medical community if they want this opportunity for increased professional responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1360
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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