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Original research
Direct access lifestyle training improves liver biochemistry and causes weight loss but uptake is suboptimal in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


Objective To evaluate the uptake and effectiveness of an existing open access lifestyle intervention forged in collaboration between a third sector organisation, funded by local government and a secondary care non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) service in the North West of England.

Method A service outcome evaluation using precomparison design and postcomparison design was conducted to analyse changes between baseline clinical health records and 12-week follow-up for patients with NAFLD who completed the lifestyle intervention. Lifestyle factors, weight loss, changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzymes and lipid profiles were compared between patients who completed the programme vs 1:1 matched patients who did not.

Results Only 16 of 167 patients with NAFLD offered the intervention completed the programme. Intervention patients achieved significant weight loss (−2.3% p≤0.05) over 12 weeks, where the non-intervention group had non-significant weight gain (+0.95%). ALT improved by 20.6 IU/L in the interventional group and 15.75 IU/L in the non-intervention group; however, this was not statistically different.

Conclusion This study presents first of its kind evaluation of a service collaboration in the UK. Only 1 in 10 patients offered the opportunity completed the programme, a limitation that could affect future strategies. Patient and public involvement research is needed to identify barriers to participation, address adherence issues and identify support mechanisms for lifestyle interventions in patients with NAFLD.

  • fatty liver
  • nutritional status
  • nutritional support

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Anonymised participant data are available from the corresponding author ORCID ID 0000-0002-9092-2927.

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