Led by Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Anita Tait
Clinical studies have demonstrated the significant role diet and lifestyle has in the development of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, and the Queensland Cardiovascular Group team is delighted to now offer our patients access to cardiac specialised Dietitian services.
Earlier this year, we welcomed Anita Tait to QCG. Anita is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) providing specialist cardiovascular dietetic services to adults within the QCG clinics. Anita joins us after 17 years working in multiple health industries including private practice, hospital-based Dietetics, and biotechnology (gut microbiome).
Anita is passionate about helping patients understand how their diet and lifestyle impacts cardiovascular related conditions. She will provide patients with personalised support on how to treat diet-related illnesses, nutritional counselling for behaviour change, personalised dietary suggestions and specialised information resources.
Anita is particularly interested in cardiovascular disease and related comorbidities such as hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, weight management, Atrial Fibrillation, malnutrition, chronic kidney disease and heart failure. We sat down with Anita to ask a few questions about this increasingly important area of healthcare, and the type of support QCG patients can expect from our new dietetic service.
Q: Within the field of cardiovascular dietetics, what are you most interested in?
Anita: I am interested in helping people understand how their diet and lifestyle impacts cardiovascular related conditions such as dyslipidaemia and hypertension, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, atrial Fibrillation, malnutrition, chronic kidney disease and heart failure. I endeavour to create a supportive consultation experience to best help my patients reach their health and dietary goals.
One of the most valuable aspects of diet and lifestyle changes is accepting that the most meaningful progress happens over a medium to long period of time (3-months to 2 years) and is essential to have support and input from at least one practitioner (better still, a team of practitioners). Interestingly, some of the best nutrition research tells us that short term fad-diets are generally a waste of time and energy for the vast majority of people, hence why as an evidenced based practitioner these are not encouraged.
A more positive and evidenced based method requires changes that are implemented from an individualised approach which means dietary based changes are set to fit in with the multiple determinants that make up someone’s health. Most importantly, the motivation for diet and lifestyle change needs to come from the patient. As the Practitioner I am able to support the patient based on their specific health or weight goals. This may include the need for food education, approaches to change food behaviours and/or discussing strategies to overcome challenges that arise throughout the change process.
Q: What do you like most about working at QCG so far?
Anita: I enjoy the multi-disciplined team approach that puts our patients first. Within our clinic, we have different types of cardiologist specialists, nurses, technicians, and now the dietetics service. This means we can offer a wide range of support to our patients under the one roof to ensure they have the best possible chance at a positive health outcomes.
Q: As a dietitian, what does success for your patients look like?
My goal is to make my patients feel like they are empowered with the tools they need to make the best dietary and lifestyle decisions, giving them peace of mind, and a quality of life that they can carry forward for the rest of their life.
I want to break through inaccurate diet culture content that we are bombarded with daily, and provide realistic, evidence-based, personalised nutritional information. It’s about arming patients with educational information, removing guilt and ineffective diet cycling, and changing their perspective on their relationship with food, for life.
In more measurable terms, it is about seeing the positive impact on the patients’ health data, such as a reduced waist measurement that puts them at a lower risk of heart disease, or reduced cholesterol or blood pressure on their test results.
Q: How can cardiac patients make an appointment with you to receive dietitian support?
Anita: Most of my clients are being referred to me via their existing QCG cardiologist directly, which is excellent. It is already showing that the new, team-approach service is working as it should – that we can provide patients with holistic health support, within a speciality cardiology clinic, and not have to send them to another location with the potential of missing out on dietary support. The new in-house dietetics service is convenient and practical for our busy patients.
QCG patients can benefit from efficient and direct communication from me back to their Cardiologist and General Practitioner. I can also ensure that I am well informed about their most up-to-date cardiac medical history from their cardiologist which will allow the best outcomes from their dietetic appointments with me.
It is great to be able to speak to patients after their cardiologist consultation, while they are feeling motivated and already have the time set aside to focus on their heart health, and we would like to continue to encourage that, and spread the word about the new service to our QCG patients.
Make a Booking with Anita
Anita’s consulting rooms are located within the QCG clinic at St Andrews Hospital (Spring Hill), St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside (Chermside), North Lakes Specialist Medical Centre (North Lakes), Mater Medical Centre (South Brisbane), Greenslopes Specialist Centre (Greenslopes) and Sunshine Coast clinics (Buderim and Noosa).
Patients can complete Dietitian consultations face to face or via Telehealth (phone or video conferencing). This allows flexibility for patients that may live outside of Brisbane or where mobility may be limited.
Existing or new QCG patients can call or email the QCG clinic to make an appointment with Anita. Anita can also accept referrals directly from GPs, however, a referral is not required to access dietitian services.
Accredited Practising Dietitians are recognised by most private health funds. Please contact your health fund provider to check if you are eligible for Dietitian Consultations.
Accredited Practising Dietitians are recognised by Medicare to provide consultations for DVA (Gold or White Card) holders and those individuals on a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Plan. Please check with your General Practitioner to see if you are eligible.