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Evidence-based practice, knowledge, NAFLD, nonalcoholic fatty liver, primary care, toolkit



  1. Casler, Kelly DNP, APRN, FNP-BC


Background and purpose: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) prevalence has reached epidemic proportions, and the severe form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, can result in cirrhosis and liver failure. The growing prevalence requires primary care (PC) providers to be adept at recognition and management; however, they experience significant knowledge gaps that can result in delayed access to interventions that could improve outcomes. This study's aim was to develop and evaluate a toolkit to improve knowledge gaps and support evidence-based practice (EBP) among PC nurse practitioners caring for patients with NAFLD in a midwestern state.


Methods and intervention: The Adult NAFLD Toolkit was designed using the Knowledge to Action framework and guidelines from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The success of the toolkit was evaluated by administering the NAFLD survey for general practitioners in a pre-post evaluation design.


Results: Pre-post survey scores (N = 11) were compared for statistically significant change using the Wilcoxon signed rank test for matched pairs and showed improvement in overall knowledge (p = .011), perceived preparedness to care for NAFLD (p = .007), intention to recommend weight loss for management (p = .008), and intention to use the NAFLD fibrosis score for patient monitoring (p = .008).


Conclusions: The results of this pilot study demonstrate successful implementation and positive outcomes of an EBP toolkit and support its expanded use. Continued evaluation on a larger scale is needed. Health care providers can use the process described in this article to develop and implement toolkits to support EBP of other PC issues.