Given the vast amount of information and insight from The Liver Meeting, this episode sought to identify and explore a few key highlights. The panel (Jörn Schattenberg, William Alazawi, Naim Alkhouri, Laurent Castera, Ken Cusi, Wayne Eskridge and Roger Green) addresses several topics from the program. This conversation focuses on an ongoing initiative of the Fatty Liver Foundation called the Annual Survey of Patient Perspectives.
Wayne introduces this 713-patient survey which sought to understand and monitor the evolving social and medical experiences of NAFLD patients in the US. The results of the study were presented at The Meeting. Notably, 80% of patients reported they were given either no or not enough information at diagnosis. One in three did not receive a referral to a specialist at diagnosis, and 60% of those who saw a specialist left the visit with little or no understanding of the disease. Wayne also notes a relatively small percentage of patients felt they were offered help at the time of visit in terms of diet and nutrition, or mental wellness as related to the diagnosis. Roger asks what would be the key message for treaters, pharma and diagnostic companies to take away. Wayne highlights two: patients are not well-informed or supported at time of diagnosis, and primary care providers lack the disease information and treatment insights to better support these patients.
As the session winds down, conversation shifts focus to consider the breadth of this physician challenge and address what remedial steps make most sense.