Challenges in the Management of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): Towards a Compassionate Approach
Randeva, Harpal S.
AffiliationUniversity of Warwick; University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust; University of Crete; University of Linkoping; Frederick University; University of Wolverhampton; Coventry University; University of Chester; EXI, London; Sowe Valley Primary Care Network; Aston University; Agricultural University of Athens
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AbstractRepresenting a growing ‘silent epidemic’, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects around 25–30% of the general population. Alarmingly, NAFLD increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, both independently and through its strong associations with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, whilst posing a substantial burden from an economic and health-related quality of life perspective. Moreover, growing evidence links NAFLD to common mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, and stress. In this context, recent clinical and research attention further focuses on potential additional problems faced by patients with NAFLD, such as perceived stigma, lack of awareness regarding the condition, and possible feelings of loneliness and isolation that might emerge from unmet support needs. To date, despite a wealth of literature on NAFLD, management of the condition remains challenging and not straightforward, with most cases in primary care being treated with lifestyle modification on top of any other comorbidity treatment. However, for many patients with NAFLD, weight loss is hard to accomplish and/or sustain (e.g., patients may lack the skills, confidence, and motivation required to adhere to dietary changes, and/or may have problems limiting opportunities for increased physical activity). Therefore, tailored interventions which are manageable from the perspective of the individual patient with NAFLD could glean greater results. Accordingly, although there is a lack of research exploring the potential benefits of person-centered and compassion-based approaches to the management of NAFLD, in the present review, we draw on evidence from methods utilized in the treatment of other chronic conditions in postulating the view that such approaches might prove beneficial in the future management of NAFLD.
CitationShea, S., Lionis, C., Kite, C., Atkinson, L., Lagojda, L., Chaggar, S. S., Kyrou, I., & Randeva, H. S. (2023). Challenges in the management of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): Towards a compassionate approach. Livers, 3(3), 434-447. https://doi.org/10.3390/livers3030031
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