Ketogenic dietary therapy utilization in Kenya: A qualitative exploration of dietitian's perceptions

Pauline Samia, Violet Naanyu, J. Helen Cross, Richard Idro, Paul Boon, Jo Wilmshurst, Stanley Luchters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study utilized a qualitative design to explore dietitians’ perceptions regarding Ketogenic Diet Therapy (KDT) for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy in Kenya. Dietitians from Kenya were selected and consented. Audio-recorded interviews were conducted, followed by thematic analysis of verbatim transcripts to identify recurring patterns. The study enrolled 18 dietitians, fourteen of whom correctly described their understanding of KDT for managing drug-resistant epilepsy. There was a lack of confidence in their capacity to initiate the KDT with all expressing the need for further training and facilitation. Only one dietitian reported having initiated and maintained KDT. There was an overall positive view regarding KDT and willingness to implement KDT for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Dietitians expressed concerns regarding the availability of national policies, inadequate staffing to support families who require KDT, and the cost of implementing this intervention. Dietitians expressed interest in virtual training to enhance their understanding of KDT. Dietitians in Kenya are mostly aware of KDT utilization for the management of drug-resistant epilepsy. However, they cited poor capability and various barriers to implementation. There is a need for policies to facilitate KDT as a treatment option for the benefit of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100661
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Dietitian
  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Kenya
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Low-resource setting


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