DLM-SF: Statement of Intent (2023)

DLM-SF: Statement of Intent (2023)

Statement of Intent

Evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines are developed to help dietetic practitioners, healthcare teams and affected individuals make shared decisions about health care choices in specific clinical circumstances. If properly developed, communicated, and implemented, guidelines can improve care and health outcomes.

While recommendations represent statements of best practice based on the latest available evidence at the time of publishing, they are not intended to overrule professional judgment. Rather, they may be viewed as a relative constraint on individual clinician discretion in clinical circumstances. The independent skill and judgment of the health care provider must always dictate treatment decisions. These nutrition practice guidelines are provided with the express understanding that they do not establish or specify standards of care, whether legal, medical or other.

The Role of Client Preference

This guideline recognizes the role of client preferences and values for possible outcomes of care when the appropriateness of a clinical intervention involves a substantial element of personal choice or values. Regarding types of evidence that are associated with particular outcomes, Shaughnessy and Slawson1-3 describe two major classes. Patient-oriented evidence that matters (POEM) deals with outcomes of importance to patients, such as changes in morbidity, mortality or quality of life. Disease-oriented evidence (DOE) deals with surrogate endpoints, such as changes in laboratory values or other measures of response. Although the results of DOE sometimes parallel the results of POEM, they do not always correspond. When possible, the Academy recommends using POEM-type evidence rather than DOE. When DOE is the only guidance available, the guideline indicates that key clinical recommendations lack the support of outcomes evidence.


  1. Slawson DC, Shaughnessy AF. Becoming an information master: using POEMs to change practice with confidence. Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters. J Fam Pract. 2000 Jan;49(1):63-7. Erratum in: J Fam Pract 2000 Mar;49(3):276.
  2. Slawson DC, Shaughnessy AF, Ebell MH, Barry HC. Mastering medical information and the role of POEMs--Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters. J Fam Pract. 1997 Sep;45(3):195-6.
  3. Shaughnessy AF, Slawson DC. POEMs: patient-oriented evidence that matters. Ann Intern Med. 1997 Apr 15;126(8):667.


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