Nutritional education strategies for patients with cirrhosis: A narrative review

Patient Educ Couns. 2023 Oct;115:107878. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2023.107878. Epub 2023 Jun 30.


Background: Patients with cirrhosis suffer from many complications, including malnutrition, which must be managed promptly and effectively by the healthcare team. Educating patients about their medical condition, the risk of malnutrition and other complications of cirrhosis, could contribute to optimal nutritional status, quality of life and general health.

Objective: This review provides an overview of the literature on a variety of nutritional education strategies used with patients suffering from cirrhosis. This review also identifies barriers and facilitators which impact the adherence in using these strategies.

Patient involvement: A patient-partner contributed to this review by providing insights on different issues and concerns that patients with cirrhosis might ask themselves regarding nutritional education strategies. The patient-partner was also involved in the overall revision of the review.

Methods: Articles published between the years 2000-2023 focusing on nutritional education strategies in patients living with cirrhosis were identified using Google Scholar and PubMed and were screened for inclusion in the study. All selected studies were intervention studies. A quality assessment of the included studies was conducted using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT).

Results: Only a few nutritional education strategies in patients with cirrhosis were documented in the literature. The strategies ranged from using traditional printed materials to advanced technologies. These strategies may prove beneficial in complementing routine interventions provided by health professionals, such as registered dietitians, in their clinical practice.

Discussion: This narrative review clearly highlights the need for further research to elaborate and evaluate nutritional education strategies for people living with cirrhosis.

Practical value: Elaborating and evaluating educational strategies in nutrition for patients living with cirrhosis will be an adjuvant to health professionals and dietitians in their clinical practice by providing them, and the patients, with targeted education resources.

Keywords: Chronic liver disease; Cirrhosis; Nutrition; Nutritional education strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Malnutrition* / prevention & control
  • Nutrition Therapy* / methods
  • Nutritional Status
  • Quality of Life