Aim To describe current practice and priorities of dietitians during the acute (≤3 months) and long-term (≥6 months) management of liver transplant recipients. Methods Ten liver transplant dietitians (10/14, 71%) in Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA responded to an online survey. The survey graded nutrition priorities on a Likert scale, recorded barriers to service delivery and workforce allocation for nutrition services (ratio of full-time equivalent: annual transplant rate). Results Just over half (n = 6, 60%) reported routine dietary assessment post-liver transplant. The majority (90%, n = 9) also provide initial dietary education in the acute setting. Thirty percent (n = 3) routinely provide ongoing acute follow up; however, no sites provide routine follow up after 6 months. Dietitian-to-transplant patient ratios demonstrated a broad range of resource allocation across sites 1:244 (1:39-1:1410). 70% (n = 7) reported lack of funding as a major barrier. Protein and energy requirements (n = 10, 100%) were identified as the main clinical focus in the acute period. Prevention of post-transplant weight gain and diabetes were identified as priority areas during the acute period by 60% of respondents (n = 6) and long-term management by all respondents (n = 10, 100%). Conclusion This international survey identified inconsistent resourcing of nutrition services post-liver transplantation, with lack of funding the main barrier to providing long-term care. While the majority of liver transplant dietitians prioritise prevention of excessive weight gain, long-term follow up is limited. Further research is needed to investigate the optimal management of liver transplant recipients.
Murray, E. M., McCoy, S. M., Campbell, K. L., & Hickman, I. J. (2014). Dietitians' practices and perspectives on nutrition priorities for liver transplant recipients. Nutrition and Dietetics, 71(2), 86-91. https://doi.org/10.1111/1747-0080.12079