Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Symptoms Experience in Persons with Obesity-Related Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


Kirkhof College of Nursing


Kirkhof College of Nursing

Date Range



Medicine and Health Sciences


Aims. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a highly prevalent condition strongly associated with obesity that can result in premature death. Little is known about a symptoms experience in this progressive disease, preventing health care providers from intervening in the early stages. The purpose of this study is to explicate symptoms in persons with NAFLD hypothesized to be at higher risk of disease progression based on the presence of one or two copies of the PNPLA3 gene, (rs738409)-G allele. Methods. A cross-sectional descriptive design, guided by the Symptoms Experience Model, was used to recruit 42 persons >21 years of age with diagnosed NAFLD from gastroenterology and bariatric surgery offices in Western Michigan. Genotyping for the presence of the PNPLA3 gene, (rs738409)-G allele was used to stratify the population. The Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS) and the Charlson Comorbidity Index were used to measure symptoms and comorbid conditions. Multiple linear regression and Fisher exact tests were used to analyze the data using PASW 17 software. Results. Participants (97%) experienced 1 or more symptoms (mean 12.02, SD 8.817). There was no statistically significant relationship between symptoms and the PNPLA3 (rs738409) variants. Significant predictors of mean frequency, severity and distress of symptoms [TMSAS] (F=2.609; df1=15, df2=25; p=.016) were identified. Conclusion. Persons with NAFLD experienced a mean of 12 symptoms. The MSAS would be beneficial in screening persons with NAFLD for changes in health before and after interventions and may be beneficial in preliminary screening of obese patients for the presence of NAFLD.

Conference Name

2012 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research - Discovery Through Innovation

Conference Location

Washington DC

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