Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-104

Patient-perceived barriers to lifestyle interventions in cirrhosis


1 Department of Medicine; The Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2 Department of Medicine; The Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR), University of Alberta; Department of Medicine, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
3 The Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR), University of Alberta; Alberta Health Services; Cirrhosis Care Clinic (Liver Unit), University of Alberta Hospital, Alberta, Canada
4 Division of Gastroenterology, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
5 Department of Medicine; The Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR), University of Alberta; Cirrhosis Care Clinic (Liver Unit), University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Puneeta Tandon
Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, 130.University Campus, Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.203357

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Background/Aims: Sarcopenia, muscle weakness, and physical frailty are independent predictors of mortality in cirrhosis. These adverse prognostic factors are potentially modifiable with lifestyle interventions, including adequate nutritional intake and physical activity. Our aim was to identify patient-perceived barriers and enablers to these interventions. Patients and Methods: Adult patients with cirrhosis were prospectively recruited from two tertiary care liver clinics. Patients were excluded if they had hepatocellular carcinoma beyond transplant criteria, other active malignancy, or advanced chronic disease. Results: A total of 127 patients (mean age: 60 ± 9 years, 58% males, and 48% with Child-Pugh-B/C (CP-B/C) disease) were included. Two-thirds of the patients had cirrhosis related to alcohol or hepatitis C. CP-B/C patients were more likely to take oral nutritional supplements (56% vs 29%) and less likely to consume animal protein daily (66% vs 85%) when compared to CP-A patients. Early satiety, altered taste, and difficulty in buying/preparing meals were more common in CP-B/C patients and even present in 20–30% of CP-A patients. Most patients reported adequate funds to purchase food. As quantified by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, 47% reported low activity levels, with no significant differences between groups. CP-B/C patients were more fatigued with exercise, however, overall Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale scores were similar across groups. Conclusions: Barriers to nutritional intake and physical activity are common in cirrhosis and should be evaluated and treated in all patients. Asking simple screening questions in clinic and referring at-risk patients to expert multidisciplinary providers is a reasonable strategy to address these barriers. Future research should evaluate techniques to overcome modifiable barriers and enhance enablers.


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