How do you decide which pages to add to define your new direction? Which do you delete? Can you summarise sections or have the manual get longer but less useful? Above all a manual has to be user friendly with pages that say all that needs to be said. It does not have explanations of why you have altered your work, but your user of the manual hopes you have thought well before making updates. I have just updated my manual for diet investigation of suspected food sensitivity, using the Diet Detective Method, and have had to deal with these questions. Instead of having allowed foods, presumed in unlimited amounts, and disallowed foods, even if in very small amounts, I thought it useful to provide lists of amounts of allowed foods for the baseline elimination diet. So did this mean I could eliminate pages such as Borderline Foods listed after the early clinical research? They were important at the time as they showed I had attended to them as possible confounders, but does that matter now? Do people trust that I sieved through all the research? What about the page on the review of amines? As long as dietitians have pages that make sense to them and their patients, why bother with these, now less relevant, explanations?  Do they know they can go to my website and read articles on Amines and other useful information? Have they checked over summaries of interest to them in the Articles section? What if I have written a self-help book on the process; should I now include a page on how to make the most of this clinical experience? I think so. What if my manual has differences with other available ones? Dietitians know that this happens in most areas of diet therapy. It makes them think of why this could be and how they will use this in the best care they can give their patients.

The latest edition of the Manual is now available on my website for $15 as a download, with my other books. If you bought one of my manuals in the past I am happy to make an offer to Dietitian Connection members to provide a complimentary copy of the latest pdf version by email, so you can keep up with my thinking.

Send me an email – [email protected] – and let me know what year you obtained your copy.  Joan Breakey          

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