The role of the #nutritional #therapist is to alleviate and prevent illness and disease in individuals through lifestyle and nutrition related changes. We do this using a #holistic approach and most importantly by listening to and also retelling their story. To remain rational and objective is key in both, but almost impossible to fully achieve. It can be very hard to interpret their journey to their current state of health simply relying on the narrative and evidence alone, rather than through our own #cognitive #bias. Cognitive bias is an important source of diagnostic and intervention error and to be aware of our own bias is half the battle.
The nutritional therapy world is full of different points of view and we as practitioners are undoubtedly influenced by the vast array of research and opinions available to us. We recommend supplements and plans based on our nutritional experience, education, peer groups, science and beliefs. If we can just be aware of how our own bias can hinder us in practice, we can attempt to put the ‘silent voice’ to one side and remain focused on the evidence and context. Cognitive bias describes a variety of unconscious short-cuts and behaviours that influence our decision making. The yourbias.is website have created a great poster highlighting the 24 most common biases that affect our thinking and are worth reading through (see below link). Future research into cognitive bias is needed to help practitioners navigate the increasingly complex world of clinical problems but awareness of the bias related influences provides a good place for us to start.