A Lack of Knowledge and a Fear of Food Triggers Suffering in Patients with a History of Acute Diverticulitis: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Fiona Eberhardt, Julie Jenkins-Chapman, Romina Nucera, Phoebe Dalwood, Russell Canavan, Skye Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review

68 Downloads (Pure)


Rationale: The inpatient dietary management for diverticulitis routinely includes dietary restrictions for inpatient management despite a lack of evidence for this approach. There is also a dearth of qualitative research which prevents understanding of the patient experience, a barrier to providing patient-centred care. This study aims to understand the impact of dietary restrictions for the management of acute diverticulitis on patient experience.
Methods: Three semi-structured in-depth face to face interviews were conducted with adult patients admitted to a public hospital in South East Queensland, Australia for acute, uncomplicated diverticulitis treatment. Interviews were analysed following the interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) framework.
Results: Inter-related themes of knowledge, control, social stigmatisation, and vulnerability were found to sit within a broad experience driven by fear of food and suffering. Theme interpretation guided the development of a “diverticulitis fear and suffering framework” which explained a phenomenon experienced by the patients. Sitting in a context of a lack of knowledge by patients, family, and health professionals, food was used as a vehicle of blame and causality for diverticulitis occurrence. “Fear of food” was a trigger for a cycle, which commences with dietary restrictions and leads to stigma, loss of culture, failure, blame, guilt, vulnerability, and back to a fear of food. With each cycle, fear of food, dietary restrictions, and patient suffering worsen.
Conclusions: Considering patient experiences highlights the need for a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to avoid unnecessary dietary restrictions to prevent avoidable suffering by patients. Increased research regarding the dietary management of acute diverticulitis is essential to improve evidence-based practice to improve the quality of life for diverticulitis patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberMON-PO330
Pages (from-to)S180
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Event41st ESPEN Congress on Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism: Nutrition - A Highway to Health - Krakow, Poland
Duration: 31 Aug 20193 Sep 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Lack of Knowledge and a Fear of Food Triggers Suffering in Patients with a History of Acute Diverticulitis: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects

    Bond University Nutrition and Dietetics Research Group Research Collaborations with External Clinical Partners

    Marshall, S., Isenring, E., MacKenzie-Shalders, K., Kelly, J., Campbell, K., Van der Meij, B., Cox, G., Reidlinger, D., Mayr, H., Banbury, M., Nucera, R., Jenkins, J., McCray, S., Canavan, R., Parker, B., de Groot, L., Cohen, F., Rich, G., Soni, A., McCarthy, A. L., Mackay, H., Young, A. M., Hickman, I., Wilkinson, S. A., Kiss, N. & Ali, A.

    1/01/14 → …

    Project: Research

    Nutrition Research for Digestive Health

    Marshall, S., Crichton, M., Campbell, K., Lohning, A., Marx, W., Van der Meij, B., Angus, R. & Canavan, R.

    1/01/14 → …

    Project: Research


    • 1 Non-HDR Student Supervision

    Fiona Ebehardt - Masters of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice research project

    Skye Marshall (Supervisor)
    25 Sep 20181 May 2019

    Activity: Professional Development, Mentorship, Supervision and Other ActivitiesNon-HDR Student Supervision

    Cite this