Diet plays a central role in parental self-treatment of children with Hirschsprung’s disease: a qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Hirschsprung's disease is a congenital disorder requiring surgery. Most children operated on for Hirschsprung's disease experience postoperative bowel dysmotility. Although various food is known to influence bowel motility, evidence of diet's role and dietary guidelines in treatment of bowel dysfunction in Hirschsprung's disease is lacking. The aim was to explore parental experiences of dietary effects on bowel function in children with Hirschsprung's disease.

A qualitative study including three focus groups with ten parents of children with Hirschsprung's disease at a national Hirschsprung's disease centre. Data were analysed through content analysis.

Parents emphasised diet as a strong influencer on their child's bowel function in Hirschsprung's disease. They expressed great concerns about their responsibility and strived hard to explore and adjust dietary habits to control the child's bowel function. Families’ daily and social lives were influenced by the child's diet and bowel function. The parents desired dietary support and guidelines to improve their confidence in self-treatment of Hirschsprung's disease.

Dietary habits play a key role in parental self-treatment of bowel function in their children with Hirschsprung's disease. Dietary guidelines for patients with Hirschsprung's disease are anticipated.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • bowel habit, diet, hirschsprungs disease, interview, parental perspective
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Pædiatrica
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 25
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

View all (2)