Perceptions, beliefs and behaviours of nutritional and supplementary practices in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Sinclair, Jonathan Kenneth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2231-3732, Dillon, Stephanie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3369-8199 and Bottoms, Lindsay (2022) Perceptions, beliefs and behaviours of nutritional and supplementary practices in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Sport Sciences for Health . ISSN 1824-7490

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Purpose: To gain insight into the behaviours, perceptions and beliefs of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients nutritional and supplementary practices and also to explore perceptions and behaviours in relation to anti-inflammatory supplementation with specific emphasis on Montmorency tart cherries.
Methods: 80 IBD patients completed a 16-item close-ended questionnaire which was divided into 3 sub-sections: baseline/ demographic characteristics, disease characteristics and dietary and supplementary perceptions, beliefs and behaviours. One-sample chi-square goodness of fit tests were used for each question and two-way Pearson chi-square tests of independence were used to undertake bivariate cross-tabulation comparisons to test differences in responses to each question between baseline/ demographic variables.
Results: The majority of participants (N = 40) did not follow a specific dietary pattern or use supplements (N = 56). Respondents also predominantly rated that diet can both positively (N = 66) and negatively (N = 68) influence IBD. In addition, participants rated that supplements can positively influence IBD (N = 65) and that lack of scientific evidence was the primary mechanism preventing them from utilizing supplements (N = 34). Finally, patients also strongly reported that they would be willing to take Montmorency tart cherry supplementation (N = 73).
Conclusions: The disconnect between behaviour and beliefs in both diet and supplementary practices, indicate that interventions designed to translate beliefs/ knowledge into behaviours are warranted. There is also a necessity to undertake well-designed intervention trials examining the efficacy of food supplements, and with patient’s willingness to take Montmorency tart cherry, there is a strong rationale for future randomized trials examining the efficacy of tart cherry supplementation in IBD.

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