A scoping review of the dietary information needs of people with inflammatory bowel disease

Nutr Diet. 2024 Feb;81(1):79-93. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12843. Epub 2023 Oct 8.


Chiara Miglioretto 1Eleanor Beck 1 2Kelly Lambert 1


Author information

1School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

2School of Health Sciences, University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia.


Aims: This review aimed to explore and describe the dietary information needs of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease and sources of information.

Methods: A scoping review of English language articles and grey literature, using electronic databases with a predefined search strategy was undertaken. Data were synthesised based on the identified variables (e.g. dietary information needs and sources of dietary information) corresponding to the aims of this review.

Results: Forty-six studies were included, reporting data from 7557 people with inflammatory bowel disease, of which 58.6% had Crohn's disease and 60.1% were males. Dietary information was rated very important and appeared to be influenced by the disease course. The need to discuss it is heightened at important stages, namely diagnosis and relapse. Dietary information was described broadly and included advice about foods to avoid and dietary advice for symptoms management. No major differences were noted in the dietary information needs of people with Crohn's disease compared to ulcerative colitis. The main sources of dietary information were the gastroenterologist (36%-98%), the internet (9%-60%) and non-dietetic professionals (84.7%).

Conclusion: This review highlights limited literature describing the dietary information needs of people with inflammatory bowel disease. Importantly, the limited access to specialised dietary advice for this cohort is concerning. Future studies are required to explore not only the nuances in the needs of those with active disease and in remission, but to further understand issues of access to specialised dietary advice to provide holistic person-centred care desired by this cohort.

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