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A High-Fiber Diet May Improve Bowel Function and Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Crohn Disease

Brotherton, Carol S. PhD, MSN, RN; Taylor, Ann Gill EdD, MS, RN, FAAN; Bourguignon, Cheryl PhD, RN; Anderson, Joel G. PhD, HTP

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000047
Features

Crohn disease is a chronic disorder characterized by episodes of epithelial inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract for which there is no cure. The prevalence of Crohn disease increased in civilized nations during the time period in which food sources were industrialized in those nations. A characteristic of industrialized diets is the conspicuous absence of cereal fiber. The purpose of this 2-group, randomized, controlled study was to investigate the effects of fiber-related dietary instructions specifying wheat bran consumption on health-related quality of life and gastrointestinal function in individuals diagnosed with Crohn disease, as measured by the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire and the partial Harvey Bradshaw Index, respectively. Results demonstrated that consuming a wheat bran–inclusive diet was feasible and caused no adverse effects, and participants consuming whole wheat bran in the diet reported improved health-related quality of life (p = .028) and gastrointestinal function (p = .008) compared to the attention control group. The results of a secondary aim, to investigate differences in measures of systemic inflammation, found no group differences in C-reactive protein or erythrocyte sedimentation rates. This study suggests that diet modification may be a welcomed complementary therapy for individuals suffering gastrointestinal disruption associated with Crohn disease.

Carol S. Brotherton, PhD, MSN, RN, is Research Associate, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ann Gill Taylor, EdD, MS, RN, FAAN, is Center Director, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Cheryl Bourguignon, PhD, RN, is Associate Professor of Nursing and Statistician, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, HTP, is Assistant Professor, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, School of Nursing, Nursing of University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Correspondence to: Carol S. Brotherton, PhD, MSN, RN, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908 (csb8b@virginia.edu).

This publication was made possible by Grant 5-F31-NRO11121 from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Nursing Research.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received April 09, 2012

Accepted December 11, 2012

© 2014 by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.