Our best tips on how to run a clean re-introduction test.
5 tips on how to run a clean re-introduction test for Dietitians
In this article i'll talk about how to run a clean re-introduction test with your clients and some of the key things to look out for.
Providing a re-introduction test for a client can be hard. You provide them all of the key details that they need to know, when, what and how. But sometimes other things get in the way, busy lifestyle, hidden ingredients in products. As you know running a clean test is all about minimizing as many variables as possible in order to provide a re-introduction test. In this article I'll cover the key tips and ways you can help your client minimize as many variables as possible to get a clean test.
1. Explain the test to them and the importance of it. Again I know what you're thinking, this is so obvious. But it is really important, and it might seem obvious to you as a Dietitian, but it helps to add additional context as to why your patient/client is completing a certain task. It is best to provide a basic diagram of how the test will be completed, what is involved (why it's important to stick to the meal plan provided) and what the outcome will be for your patient. For example: by the end of this test you should know whether you can tolerate lactose or not.
2. Get them to keep a thorough food diary. When it comes to keeping a food diary, this is a really important. In order for you to know whether the test was completed correctly, then you'll need to know if your client/patient has eaten anything outside of the parameters. The food diary will help you analyze whether they have potentially made a mistake and eaten a trigger food. For example if they logged something that included lactose and the test parameters strictly prohibited lactose, then this would void the test.
3. Give them an easy way to check off and track their progress on the test. Do you ever feel like you’re not making any progress with something? You're just working away at something that is never ending. Me too! It's hard to keep focused when you can't see that you're making progress. Your clients/patients are exactly the same. It's important to let them feel like they're making some sort of progress as they work toward their goals. Tuki provides a 'challenge' tool that allows your clients to easily challenge certain foods that they might think are trigger foods for them.
4. Recording what time the test took place. This is pretty crucial. If you don't know when your client/patient took the test then it is impossible to extract any meaningful results. Provide your clients with a tool to track when their completed their test or get them to record it.
5. Correlating challenges with symptoms data. This it definitely the hardest part for dietitians and for your clients/patients. Keeping an accurate symptoms log is also critical in order to correlate any changes between challenging foods. That is why Tuki has been proven to make it really easy for dietitians to correlate the two aspects. It is easiest to lay out your symptoms data and then overlay your challenge data on one axis. This way you can understand at what point the challenge came in, and then what the resulting symptoms were post challenge. You will also need to take note of your clients/patients food diary. To ensure that they haven't eaten anything that voids the test.
Hope this article provides a bit more information into how you can run cleaner re-introduction tests. If you have any suggestions / recommendations comment below.