Understanding the diet and physical activity of liver transplant recipients and the factors influencing these behaviours will enable healthcare professionals to better support people having a liver transplant. Knowing whether diet and physical activity are associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors and quality of life, and if so which elements of diet and activity are important for this, will also help to improve care. The BOLT (behaviours and outcomes after liver transplant) study aims to investigate this.
The BOLT study was paused in March 2020 due to COVID-19. We have changed the design of the study so that liver transplant recipients can take part at home, without the need to come to an appointment. This enabled the study to restart in November 2020. We have added three short questionnaires that measure stress, anxiety and depression as liver transplant recipients have told us this is important to study as a result of the COVID-19 situation.
A common concern we have heard from liver transplant recipients is that their diet and exercise have changed due to the COVID-19 situation, and therefore they worry it’s not valuable for the research for them to take part in the study. There is no right or wrong way of eating or exercising for the BOLT study. As well as the impact of the liver transplant on diet and activity, we are also interested in the impact COVID-19 is having on behaviours and mental health, for example difficulties with exercising and changes in diet due to shielding. Taking part will help us to understand how to help recipients in similar situations in the future.