Mastering PES Statement for Dietitians and Health Professionals in Private Practice

Mastering PES Statement for Dietitians and Health Professionals in Private Practice

If you’ve landed here searching for “PES statement examples,” you’re in the right place. PES statements are the secret sauce in the world of nutrition care. “PES” stands for Problem, Etiology, and Signs & Symptoms, and they give us a crystal-clear snapshot of what our clients are going through and how we can help.

Before we get into PES statements, there’s another cool acronym I want to make sure you know about ADIME. It stands for Assessment, Diagnosis, Intervention, Monitoring, and Evaluation. Think of it as the roadmap for our nutrition journey. And guess what? PES is the compass that helps us navigate that map!

So, buckle up and get ready to learn about the magic of PES statements and how they fit perfectly into the bigger picture of ADIME. By the end, you’ll be crafting these statements like a pro!

Understanding PES Statements

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of PES statements. Imagine you’re piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. You’ve got the picture on the box (that’s the overall health goal), but you need to figure out how each piece fits to reveal that image. This is where PES, a cornerstone of nutrition diagnosis, comes into play.

  • P stands for Problem. This is the primary nutrition problem our client is struggling with. Think of it as identifying a missing piece in our puzzle, based on the nutrition assessment data we’ve gathered.
  • E is for Etiology. This digs into the root cause or the reason behind the nutrition problem. It’s like understanding why that specific piece is absent from our puzzle.
  • S represents Signs and Symptoms. These are the tangible clues or indicators that validate the existence of the problem. It’s the evidence that confirms, “Yep, that piece is definitely missing.”

PES statement definition

Nutrition Diagnosis vs. Medical Diagnosis

Now, let’s go a bit deeper. There’s a distinction between a Nutrition Diagnosis (our PES) and a medical diagnosis tied to specific medical or physical conditions. 

For instance, a client might walk in with high blood pressure. The medical diagnosis could be labeled as “hypertension.” However, our Nutrition Diagnosis might pinpoint it as “excessive sodium intake” (our Problem) due to “regular consumption of processed foods” (our Etiology), with signs like “swelling in the lower extremities” (our Signs & Symptoms).

Whether you’re in a clinical setting or running private practice online, PES statements, rooted in nutrition assessment data, are indispensable. They give you a clear, concise picture of what’s going on with your client and how you can help.

To bring this to life, imagine you have a client named Sarah, a busy mom of three. Always on the move, she often resorts to fast food for her family, given her tight schedule. She comes to you feeling constantly tired. Her Problem? Maybe it’s inadequate iron intake. The Etiology? Relying too much on fast food that lacks essential nutrients. And the Signs & Symptoms? Fatigue and pale skin.

See how it all comes together?

With PES, we’re not just identifying issues; we’re understanding them, which sets the stage for transformative care.

The ADIME Framework

Alright, let’s talk about another acronym that’s going to be your guiding star in the world of nutrition care: ADIME. This framework is a cornerstone of the nutrition care process. If PES is the heart of our nutrition care, ADIME is the body that supports and nourishes it.

A is for Assessment. Picture this as the detective phase. We’re gathering all the clues about our client’s health, diet, and lifestyle. This is where we start to identify signs and symptoms and establish if a previous nutrition diagnosis exists.

D stands for Diagnosis. This is where our PES statement, or as some might call it, the nutrition diagnosis statement, truly shines! Based on our assessment, we pinpoint the nutrition-related problem, its cause, and its symptoms.

I is for Intervention. This isn’t just any intervention; it’s a nutrition intervention. With our PES statement in hand, we strategize. It’s like plotting the best route on a map to reach our destination.

M represents Monitoring. We’re keeping a close eye on things, ensuring our strategies are working, and making any tweaks if needed.

E is all about Evaluation. We’re looking back, seeing how far we’ve come, and celebrating the journey.

Now, here’s what I love about ADIME: it’s cyclical. Once we evaluate, we loop back, reassess, and refine our strategies. It’s a continuous cycle of understanding, acting, checking, and improving. the ADIME cycle

Remember the old SOAP notes we used to rely on? Well, think of ADIME as its evolved, more comprehensive cousin. While SOAP was great, ADIME, with its inclusion of PES, gives us a clearer, more structured approach to client care.

In essence, PES and ADIME go hand in hand. They’re like peanut butter and jelly, or a cozy blanket with a good book on a rainy day. Together, they ensure we’re providing the best possible care, every step of the way.

Writing a Robust PES Statement

Alright, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty of crafting a rock-solid PES statement as part of your nutrition care process. Believe me, once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a bike – you’ll never forget!

  1. Start with the Problem: This is where you identify the nutrition-related issue your client is facing. It’s the “what” of the situation. For instance, “inadequate protein intake.”
  2. Dive into the Etiology: Here’s where you play detective. You’re looking for the “why” behind the problem. Using our example, it could be “due to a vegetarian diet without adequate plant-based protein sources.” This is a crucial part of the nutrition assessment where you gather both subjective and objective data to understand the root cause.
  3. Identify Signs and Symptoms: Think of this as the evidence that backs up your problem and etiology. It’s the observable and measurable indicators. For our protein example, it might be “reported fatigue and muscle weakness.” These signs and symptoms are pivotal in confirming our nutrition diagnosis.

Now, let’s put it all together: “Inadequate protein intake due to a vegetarian diet without adequate plant-based protein sources, as evidenced by reported fatigue and muscle weakness.” Voila! You’ve got yourself a PES statement.

But wait, there’s more! Crafting a PES statement isn’t just about following steps. It’s about truly understanding your client’s unique situation and providing high-quality nutrition care. 

writing a robust pes statement

Here are a few golden nuggets to keep in mind:

  • Root Cause Analysis: Always dig deep to identify the true root cause. It’s easy to skim the surface, but the real insights come from diving deep.
  • Back It Up: Your diagnosis should always be backed up by concrete evidence. Whether it’s lab results, physical symptoms, or client reports, always have something tangible to support your statement.
  • Clarity is Key: In the world of PES, ambiguity is the enemy. Be clear, be concise, and always ensure your statements can be easily understood by anyone reading them.

Now, because I want to set you up for success, I’ve created a handy downloadable guide to help you master the art of PES statement crafting. It’s packed with examples, templates, and all the details you need. And guess what? It’s absolutely free!  PES cheatsheet and template

So, the next time you’re faced with crafting a PES statement, remember you’ve got a handy guide to help you along the way. 

Challenges in Writing PES Statements

By now, you’re probably feeling pretty confident about PES statements and the ADIME framework. But let’s be real for a moment. Firstly, it’s essential to have the right nutrition knowledge to write a PES statement that accurately reflects the related nutrition diagnosis. Secondly, as with anything new and important, there are bound to be some bumps along the road. 

Crafting the perfect PES statement isn’t always a walk in the park. But don’t worry! I’m here to guide you through some common challenges and how to overcome them. 

Common Misconceptions: 

One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve come across is that PES statements are just for clinical settings. Remember our chat about Sarah, the busy mom? PES isn’t just for hospitals. Whether you’re in private practice, community health, or any other setting, PES is your trusty tool to understand and help your clients.

Different Settings, Different Challenges: 

Using PES in a hospital might involve more medical jargon and complex cases, while in private practice, it might be more about lifestyle and dietary habits, and nutrient intake. And in community health? It could be about addressing broader nutritional challenges faced by a community. The key is to tailor your PES statements to fit the unique needs of each setting and your practice.

Addressing the Challenges: 

First and foremost, education is your best friend. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be. Dive deep into understanding the nuances of each setting. 

Speaking of being equipped, remember that handy downloadable guide I mentioned earlier? It’s not just a guide; it’s a treasure trove! Inside, you’ll find a reusable template that you can lean on time and time again. Plus, it’s chock-full of real-world examples to inspire and guide you.

Think of it as your PES statement toolkit, ready to help you navigate any challenge that comes your way.

In essence, while PES statements are a powerful tool, they’re not without their challenges. But with the right mindset, resources (like our trusty guide), and a sprinkle of persistence, you’ll be crafting impeccable PES statements, no matter the setting or challenge.

Remember, every challenge is an opportunity in disguise. And with each PES statement you craft, you’re not just jotting down words; you’re making a difference in someone’s life. So, keep at it, and know that I’m cheering you on every step of the way!

enhancing PES statement

Enhancing PES Statement Writing

Let’s talk about how we can take your PES statement skills from good to absolutely stellar!

  1. Embrace the Power of Templates: Remember that downloadable guide? One of its features is a reusable template. Templates are game-changers. They give you a structured format to follow, ensuring you don’t miss out on any crucial details, like noting excessive energy intake or other specific nutrition diagnoses. It’s like having a recipe when you’re baking; it ensures you get the perfect outcome every time!
  2. Focus on the Main Issues: It’s easy to get lost in a firehose of information, especially when you’re dealing with complex cases. But always remember to zero in on the primary nutrition-related issues, such as signs and symptoms or the nutrition care process. It’s about quality, not quantity.
  3. Dig Deep to Identify the Root Cause: As we touched on earlier, understanding the ‘why’ behind the problem is crucial. It’s like being a detective; you’re not just looking at the obvious clues but diving deeper to understand the bigger picture. This could involve identifying issues like excessive energy intake as a root cause.
  4. Always Back Up Your Diagnosis: Evidence is your best friend. Whether it’s a lab result, objective data obtained, a client’s feedback, or a physical symptom, always ensure you have concrete proof to support your PES statement and nutrition diagnosis.
  5. Use Templates to Tailor Your Approach: Different settings require different approaches. Whether you’re in a hospital, private practice, or community health setting, your PES statements need to be tailored accordingly. This might involve focusing more on nutrition intervention in some settings than others. Using templates, like the one in the guide, can help you adjust your statements to fit the specific needs of each setting.

In essence, enhancing your PES statement writing is all about refining your approach, using the right tools, and always aiming for clarity and precision. And remember, practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better you’ll get. So, keep crafting, keep refining, and watch as your PES statements transform your client care!


From understanding the basics of PES statements, and recognizing the importance of nutrition assessment, to diving deep into the ADIME framework and the broader nutrition care process, we’ve covered a lot of ground. 

Here’s the golden takeaway: PES statements are more than just a tool; they’re the heartbeat of modern nutrition care. They allow us to understand, empathize, and most importantly, act in the best interests of our clients by identifying issues like excessive carbohydrate intake or other signs and symptoms.

As with any skill, mastery comes with practice and continuous learning. The nutrition intervention strategies you devise today might need tweaking tomorrow. So, I urge you, whether you’re a seasoned dietitian or just starting out, to keep refining your PES writing skills.

Embrace every opportunity to learn, adapt, and grow. Because in the ever-evolving world of nutrition, staying updated is the key to success.

Additional Resources

Ready to craft some stellar PES statements for your clients? I’ve got just the thing to help you out! Fill out the form below for instant access to your free PDF download that includes a PES Statement Template and a Cheat Sheet tailored for Private Practice. It’s designed to be your trusty sidekick in this PES journey, ensuring you’re always on top of the latest in nutrition assessment and care. PES cheatsheet and template

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Lesli Bitel, MBA, RDN, LDN, is a sought-after Business Strategist and Mentor specializing in guiding integrative and functional medicine professionals through the complexities of practice building.

Her mission is to unravel the confusion associated with the business side of running a successful private practice. Lesli focuses on real-world marketing and client attraction strategies to seamlessly integrate multiple income streams into the private practice business model, including

  • 1:1 coaching to online courses
  • Group programs
  • Online courses
  • Passive income products
  • Memberships
  • And more

In her work, Lesli draws on her experience running her own 6-figure functional nutrition practice, specializing in helping patients with neurological disorders. She also has a 13-year tenure in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic testing industries, where she excelled in marketing and sales, eventually reaching high-level executive roles.

For over a decade, she has empowered practitioners to overcome business challenges, attract ideal clients, and diversify income streams for thriving practices. Lesli offers private coaching, classes, webinars, and more, dividing her time between Salida, CO, and Lake Geneva, WI.

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