Lifestyle Behavior Change in Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Qualitative Study of Clinical Practice

Leah Avery, Catherine Exley, Stuart McPherson, Michael Trenell, Quentin M. Anstee, Kate Hallsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver condition worldwide and is linked largely to obesity and inactivity. Lifestyle modification is the primary treatment for NAFLD targeting dietary change, physical activity, and exercise to facilitate weight loss and weight loss maintenance. This has been shown to reduce steatosis and ameliorate steatohepatitis. European Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of NAFLD highlight the importance of targeting lifestyle behavior change in all patients with NAFLD regardless of disease severity. These guidelines recommend combining dietary restriction and a progressive increase in aerobic exercise and resistance training with a focus on tailoring interventions to the individual patient. Practice guidelines published by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recommend weight loss of at least 3% to 5% of body weight via hypocaloric diet or diet combined with increased physical activity but state that these lifestyle interventions should target patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Given the benefits of lifestyle behavior change, this study explored the perceptions surrounding clinical care as currently offered to patients with NAFLD. The aim of this study was to establish whether current provision of lifestyle behavior change support is sufficient, whether health care professionals believe they have the tools to target lifestyle behavior changes effectively, and how targeting diet and physical activity/exercise to facilitate weight loss and weight loss maintenance in practice can be improved from the perspective of health care professionals and patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1968
Number of pages1971
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number12
Early online date15 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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