Liver disease management as routine work in primary care? A qualitative interview study to guide implementation

Helen Jarvis*, Tom Sanders, Barbara Hanratty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Background Morbidity from liver disease is rising in the UK. Most cases are caused by alcohol or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and treatable if caught early. Liver disease pathways have been shown to increase detection in the community, but have not been adopted into routine primary care work. Aim To explore primary care healthcare professional (HCP) experiences and understanding of chronic liver disease, and where it might fit into management of long- term conditions. Design and setting Qualitative interview study with 20 HCPs in primary care in the north of England. Method A semi-structured approach informed by a theory of implementation (normalisation process theory [NPT]). Data collection and analysis were concurrent. Interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results Participants identified the following key areas for action: incentivised frameworks and protocols to drive understanding, organise, and sustain practice; inclusion of common liver diseases into multimorbidity care to reduce complexity and workload; a need to define the GP role within a lifestyle-focused treatment pathway; and education/local champions to initiate and legitimise individual and organisational participation in change. Conclusion To embed chronic liver disease management in routine primary care work, researchers and policymakers must be aware of the implementation challenges. These findings can guide the adoption of effective pathways and help bridge the implementation gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e916-e923
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice (BJGP)
Issue number725
Early online date16 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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