Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A qualitative study of CVD management and dietary changes: problems of ‘too much’ and ‘contradictory’ information

Samantha B Meyer1*, John Coveney2 and Paul R Ward2

Author Affiliations

1 University of Waterloo, School of Health and Health System, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

2 Discipline of Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide 5001, Australia

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BMC Family Practice 2014, 15:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-25

Published: 4 February 2014



Nutrition education for cardiovascular disease (CVD) management is not effective for all population groups. There is little understanding of the factors that hinder patients from adhering to dietary recommendations.


37 interviews were conducted with people living with CVD in Adelaide, Australia. Recruitment occurred via General Practitioner (GP) clinics and hospital cardiac rehabilitation programs. Participants were either receiving preventive treatment or active treatment for established CVD.


The volume and contradictory nature of dietary information were the most prominent barriers to making changes identified in interviews, especially by order participants.


Patients will seek out, or come into contact with information which contradicts advice from their GPs. The volume of information may lead them to resort to old and familiar habits. GPs play a valuable role in highlighting key take-home messages and reliable external sources of information. The findings have implications for GP practice given that lifestyle changes are a cost- and clinically-effective means of managing CVD.

General practice; Cardiovascular disease; Lifestyle; Diet; Australia