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Dietary Practices of Chinese Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A Naturalistic Inquiry

Zhou, Yunxian, PhD; Ma, Xiaoqin, MM; Chen, Yan, PhD, MD

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000021

Dietary factors have been linked to the development and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. However, little is known about the dietary practices of these patients after being diagnosed and what factors shape those practices. This article reports the findings of a naturalistic inquiry that explored the experience of dietary practices of Chinese patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Purposive sampling was used and in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Analysis of the transcribed data is presented thematically. Five themes were derived: (a) seeking dietary information, (b) testing out, (c) modifying diet, (d) barriers to diet modification, and (e) fear and stress. Understanding the dietary practice of patients with inflammatory bowel disease from the perspective of those diagnosed is a first step in attempting to assist them with diet management. Healthcare professionals should encourage patients to report diet modification and be aware of both personal and environmental barriers of diet modification.

Yunxian Zhou, PhD, is Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.

Xiaoqin Ma, MM, is Professor, School of Nursing, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.

Yan Chen, PhD, MD, is Chief Physician, Division of Gastroenterology, Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China.

Correspondence to: Yunxian Zhou, PhD, School of Nursing, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China, 548 Binwen Rd., Binjiang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China 310053 (

This project was supported by the Scientific Research Fund of Zhejiang Provincial Education Department (grant number: Y201018032) and the Zhejiang Provincial Program for the Cultivation of High-Level Innovative Health Talents.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received May 20, 2012

Accepted September 15, 2012

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