- 1Discipline of Physiotherapy, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2Department of Hepatology, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
- 3Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Objectives: Physical activity (PA) is an important non-pharmacological treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study investigated the determinants of PA engagement and awareness of the World Health Organisation (WHO) PA guidelines in patients with NAFLD.
Methods: Study participants were 101 patients with NAFLD (median age: 54 [IQR = 15] y; 53 women and 48 men) who completed 4 questionnaires: (1) a PA guideline awareness questionnaire; (2) a PA questionnaire assessing PA levels; and (3) 2 questionnaires assessing perceived barriers and motivators for engaging in PA. Binary logistic regression was performed to assess predictors of PA levels.
Results: Twenty-four percent of participants correctly identified the recommended WHO weekly PA guidelines, and 39% adhered to the guidelines. Lack of willpower, time and energy were the most frequently cited barrier domains. Scores for lack of willpower (odds ratio [OR] = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.088-1.919) and lack of resources (OR = 1.378, 95% CI = 1.003-1.893), and reporting 3 or more 'significant' barrier domains (OR = 5.48, 95% CI = 1.792-15.873) were significant predictors of PA levels. Maintaining health and fitness was the most cited motivator domain and was a significant predictor (OR = 2.551, 95% CI = 1.253-5.208) of PA levels.
Conclusions: This study highlights) the lack of awareness of the WHO PA guidelines and the key determinants of PA participation in patients with NAFLD. Determinants of PA should be identified at the individual level to create a personalized approach for PA maintenance for people with NAFLD to promote lifelong participation in PA.
Impact: This study closes a gap in the published data on the determinants of PA engagement in patients with NAFLD.