A client-centred approach sits at the core of modern healthcare. Exploration of the patients’ role within the education of nutrition and dietetic students has not previously been undertaken. This review aimed to synthesise the learning outcomes that result from involvement of patients in nutrition and dietetic student education, and to consider whether these interactions promote patient-centred care. Five electronic databases were searched, supported by hand-searching of references of included studies. Screening of title/abstract and then full text papers was undertaken; key characteristics and outcomes were extracted and synthesised narratively. The likely impact of interventions was evaluated using Kirkpatrick’s Hierarchy; study quality was assessed using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Of 7436 studies identified through database searching, and one additional study located through hand searching of reference lists, the final library consisted of 13 studies. All studies reported benefits for student learning from patient involvement, while one paper identified patient benefits from student interventions. Patients as recipients of care mostly contributed in a passive role in student education activities. Quality assessment identified methodological limitations in most studies. Patient involvement in the education of dietitians supports skill development and therefore progression to professional practice. Although nutrition and dietetics education has a focus on client-centred care, the translation of these concepts into an interactive student educational experience has been investigated to a limited extent. Collaboration with patients in student education is an area for further development.
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