Liddle, J, Richardson, JC, Hider, SL, Mallen, CD, Watson, L, Chandratre, P and Roddy, E (2021) 'It's just a great muddle when it comes to food': a qualitative exploration of patient decision-making around diet and gout. Rheumatology Advances in Practice, 5 (3). ISSN 2514-1775

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Objective: Our aim was to understand whether, why and how patients choose to modify their diets after developing gout.

Methods: We conducted an inductive thematic secondary analysis of qualitative data from 43 interviews and four focus groups with UK participants with gout (n = 61).

Results: Participants commonly initiated dietary changes as part of a self-management strategy for gout. Reasons for making such dietary changes included: desperation; a desire for control; and belief that it would be possible to achieve successful management through diet alone; but not weight loss. Participants who did not make changes or who reverted to previous dietary patterns did so because: they believed urate-lowering therapy was successfully managing their gout; medication allowed normal eating; they did not find 'proof' that diet would be an effective treatment; or the dietary advice they found was unrealistic, unmanageable or irrelevant. Dietary modification was patient led, but patients would have preferred the support of a health-care professional. Beliefs that diet could potentially explain and modify the timing of flares gave patients a sense of control over the condition. However, the belief that gout could be controlled through dietary modification appeared to be a barrier to acceptance of management with urate-lowering therapy.

Conclusions: Perceptions about gout and diet play a large role in the way patients make decisions about how to manage gout in their everyday lives. Addressing the reasons why patients explore dietary solutions, promoting the value of urate-lowering therapy and weight loss and drawing on strong evidence to communicate clearly will be crucial in improving long-term clinical management and patient experience.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: gout; inflammatory arthritis; diet; qualitative; patient experience; self-management; long-term condition
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 07:44
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2021 13:11

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