Acceptability of Plant-Based Diets for People with Chronic Kidney Disease: Perspectives of Renal Dietitians
The purpose of this study was to explore the perspective of renal dietitians regarding plant-based diets for chronic kidney disease (CKD) management and evaluate the acceptability of a hypothetical plant-based dietary prescription aiming for the consumption of 30 unique plant foods per week. This study used an exploratory mixed methods design. Forty-six renal dietitians partici-pated in either an online survey (n = 35) or an in-depth interview (n = 11). Dietitians perceived that plant-based diets could address multiple clinical concerns relevant to CKD. Forty percent of survey respondents reported the hypothetical dietary prescription was realistic for people with CKD, 34.3% were unsure, and 25.7% perceived it as unrealistic. Strengths of the hypothetical prescription in-cluded shifting the focus to whole foods and using practical resources like recipes. Limited staffing, time, and follow-up opportunities with patients, as well as differing nutrition philosophies were the most commonly reported challenges to implementation; while a supportive multidisciplinary team was identified as an important enabler. To increase patient acceptance of plant-based dietary ap-proaches, education about plant food benefits was recommended, as was implementing small, incremental dietary changes. Successful implementation of plant-based diets is perceived to require frequent patient contact and ongoing education and support by a dietitian. Buy-in from the multi-disciplinary team was also considered imperative.
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University of Wollongong