Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN)
is a global, dynamic knowledge translation tool that allows busy practitioners to quickly find up-to-date answers to day-to-day questions, based on the latest evidence. It was developed by Dietitians of Canada, with input from thought leaders and practitioners in dietetic practice and is managed by a collaborative partnership between the British Dietetic Association, Dietitians Australia and Dietitians of Canada.
The PEN System is designed as a series of over 200 knowledge pathways (similar to chapters in a book) that includes practice questions, background information, recommendations and evidence summaries, practice guidance toolkits and links to relevant tools and resources, including client handouts, on hundreds of topics.
DC membership includes access to the PEN system in the form of 50 access credits (logins). Find out about this member benefit and more
What are the benefits of using the PEN System?
View the PEN Storyboard for more benefits of the PEN system
- Saves you time searching and appraising because the PEN Team finds and analyzes the best available evidence and then summarizes the key information on a particular topic.
- Access to diverse dietetic topics ranging from population health, the lifecycle, health conditions and disease, food and nutrients and professional practice. All this information is frequently reviewed and updated, and new content is continually being added.
- All of the evidence is graded, using the prestigious GRADE approach, so you always know the quality of the evidence behind a nutrition or dietetic recommendation.
- Access to cited references; all linked to the abstract or full text so you can easily locate the original journal article or research paper.
- Useful features such as multilingual navigation, filtered results, personalization of your favourites, and content alerts for new and revised content.
Why should you use the PEN System as a dietitian or nutrition practitioner?
Dietitians and nutrition practitioners are trusted by the public because their practice is evidence-based. The PEN System can help:
Try PEN out today. Sign up for your free trial.
- Answer your patient/client questions, develop nutrition care plans and provide point-of-care guidance to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
- Challenge misinformation, misconceptions and pseudoscience.
- Ensure your practice is based on evidence-based decisions.
Why should you use the PEN System as a student?
The PEN System provides access to nutrition and dietetic-related evidence to help support your academic studies. Dietetics students often can access the PEN System through their university library. The PEN System can:
View the full list of topics to enhance your studies
- Assist you with assignments and coursework.
- Provide access to a wide range of clinical and non-clinical topics to help support your learning and development, including an extensive list of tools and resources, such as handouts in multiple languages.
- Help you become familiar with the evidence-based approach to nutrition and dietetics and develop your critical appraisal skills.
Why should you use the PEN System as an eductator?
The PEN System can support your nutrition and dietetic students with their academic studies and help them to understand the importance of evidence-based practice and evaluating research with a critical eye. Introducing students to the importance of evidence-based practice in the PEN System will ensure the future profession uses only the highest quality and most accurate evidence to inform practice.
The PEN system can be integrated into your teaching. Consider:
View the Training Materials
- Using PEN content as part of your lectures.
- Using the PEN System as part of seminar tasks and activities, such as critically appraising a journal article or helping students solve a case study.
How much does it cost to subscribe to the PEN System?
DC members receive 50 access credits to the PEN System as part of their membership benefits and are also able to purchase additional access credits and unlimited annual access.
Learn how to claim your access credits
||Fee for Members (plus tax)
||Fee for non-members (plus tax)
|Annual PEN License, includes 50 access credits
||Included in Membership
|10 additional credits
|25 additional credits
|50 additional credits
|Unlimited annual access
You get PEN System access and a whole lot more when you are a DC member! Join today
I see value in contributing to the PEN system since not only is it an opportunity to summarize and synthesize the current literature, it is also a mechanism for sharing this work with my colleagues, and to increase the capacity of our profession.
- Becky Blair, RD MSc Public Health Nutritionist, Child Health Program
We expect to subscribe to PEN as long as we have a Nutrition program and PEN exists!
- Meg Raven, Collections Librarian at MSVU Library