Introduction A low FODMAP diet has demonstrated symptom improvement in patients with IBS when conducted during individual consultations.1 Structured dietetic group education is a well recognised medium for encouraging self-management and promoting confidence in patients with chronic illness.2 There is a lack of research in the use of low FODMAP dietary intervention in a group setting. This audit was conducted to assess the efficacy and feasibility of providing low FODMAP dietary advice in a group environment.
Methods Data was collected using the ‘IBS satisfaction survey’3 which was given to 17 patients with IBS on completion of the 8 week low FODMAP diet. The following question was used to monitor effectiveness of the low FODMAP diet: ‘Do you currently have satisfactory relief from your gut symptoms’? This is a closed question, completed anonymously, with a choice response of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Feasibility of a group format was measured via attendee’s feedback and non-attendance (DNA) rate. Feedback was collected using an evaluation questionnaire (6 point Likert scale – very satisfied, satisfied, acceptable, dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, unsure) after the group session.
Results 21 patients attended the initial session. 4 patients (19%) failed to attend the follow up session. 82% (14 /17) of patients who completed the education programme reported satisfactory relief of gut symptoms. 100% of patients were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the presentation and group discussion. 94% were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the organisation of the group session.
Conclusion Group education for low FODMAP diet therapy is a feasible and effective method for promoting symptom improvement for IBS patients. Group education has the potential to be at least as effective as one-to-one low FODMAP IBS education. Further randomised control studies with large sample sizes are recommended.
References 1 Halmos EP, Power, VA, Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR, Muir JG. Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterology 2014;146(1): pp67–75
2 Keen AJ, Duncan E, McKillop-Smith A, Evans ND, Gold AE. Dose Adjustment for normal eating (DAFNE) in routine clinical practice: who benefits? Diabetes Medicine 2012;29(5):pp670–6
3 Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC. Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 2011;24(5):pp487–95
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.