Perceptions, experiences, barriers and facilitators regarding nutritional intake of patients with chronic limb threatening ischemia: a qualitative study

Aniek M Kolen*, Harriët Jager-Wittenaar, Jean-Paul P M de Vries, Martijn L Dijkstra, Pieter U Dijkstra, Rienk Dekker, Leonie A Krops, Jan H B Geertzen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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OBJECTIVE: Patients with chronic limb threatening ischemia (CLTI) are at high risk for amputation and other cardiovascular adverse events. Nutrition-related symptoms and malnutrition are common in the CLTI population, and lead to worse clinical outcomes. Understanding of the factors influencing nutritional intake is required to determine whether optimization of nutritional intake in this population requires interventions. Therefore, this study aimed to describe perceptions and experiences on nutrition of patients with CLTI, and to identify perceived barriers and facilitators influencing their nutritional intake.

METHODS: In this phenomenological qualitative study, individual semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with patients with CLTI who lived independently. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and reflexive thematic analysis was performed.

RESULTS: Twelve participants were interviewed. Five themes were generated: (1) lack of nutritional risk perception, (2) role of nutrition for health, functioning and surviving, (3) multiple factors influencing nutritional intake, (4) limited nutritional advice, and (5) no intention to change current nutritional intake.

CONCLUSION: Patients with CLTI perceive nutritional intake as a necessity to survive and function. Patients express limited risk perception regarding adequate nutritional intake and undernutrition. Nutritional intake is mainly based on non-health related factors, as habits and taste, and multiple barriers hinder nutritional intake. Patients received no or only limited nutritional advice. Together this leads to an expressed lack of intention to change nutritional intake. Findings of this study stress the urgency for patient-centered nutritional support, to increase nutrition-related knowledge and motivation, to prevent or treat undernutrition, and may improve clinical outcomes in patients with CLTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-174
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of vascular surgery
Early online date2-Nov-2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2024

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