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Ann Behav Med. 2002 Fall;24(4):269-78.

Medical nutrition therapy for hypercholesterolemia positively affects patient satisfaction and quality of life outcomes.

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Massachusetts General Hospital, Diabetes Center, Boston 02114, USA.


Following a heart-healthy diet to lower cholesterol levels is often assumed to be difficult, to be burdensome, and to have a negative impact on quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) versus usual care (UC) for hypercholesterolemia on patient satisfaction and QOL. Ninety ambulatory care patients (60 men and 30 women), age 28 to 66, were randomly assigned to receive either MNT from dietitians using a National Cholesterol Education Program-based protocol or UC from their physicians. Patients who received MNT reported no difference in QOL related to the taste or enjoyment of food compared with UC patients. However, the MNT group reported initial improvements in QOL related to the convenience and cost of following a low-fat diet when compared with the UC group. The MNT group also reported significant and lasting improvements in perceived QOL related to self-care compared with the UC group. MNT patients were more satisfied with the interaction at visits, knowledge and ability to manage their cholesterol, eating habits, appearance, time spent exercising, and life in general. Moreover, MNT patients did not report any negative impact related to following a low-fat diet in regard to feeling restricted by diet; interference with lifestyle activities; or difficulty planning, purchasing, or preparing meals or eating away from home. Contrary to popular belief there is no apparent reduction but rather an improvement in some measures of QOL and patient satisfaction with MNT for hypercholesterolemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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