This exploratory study was conducted to discover to what extent patients follow their low-cholesterol diets. If they did not, the reasons were investigated. It was hoped that the findings would aid in defining areas of instruction which need greater emphasis when patients receive instruction concerning a low-cholesterol diet.

An interview guide was used as a data gathering tool. The dietitians at one private teaching hospital recorded all dietary prescriptions sent to them during the specified period and ten physicians were contacted for permission to include their patients in the study. The patients were then contacted by telephone and the interviews scheduled. However, half the patients lived more than fifty miles away from the hospital so questionnaires were mailed to them, making a total of twenty-one questionnaires returned.

Each interview was conducted in a conversational style, with the majority of the data being obtained indirectly. The interviews varied from one to one and a half hours. Fourteen patients were interviewed, making a total of thirty-five patients included in the study.

On the basis of data obtained, it was concluded that patients were following their diets and knew the reason why their physicians had prescribed the diet. Most of them were using unsaturated fats for cooking purposes, however, they did not know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats. Over half the patients had been following the diet less than a month. Over half the patients sent questionnaires did not return them. Most of the patients felt that the diet was similar to their usual dietary pattern.

The most frequent reasons given for having difficulty in adhering to the diet were having to give up ice-cream, hard cheese, baked goods and limitation on amount of meat. Restaurant eating was a problem, along with monotony and lack of palatability in the diet.

Recommendations were made concerning the giving of instruction to patients, and concerning further studies to be made under varying conditions.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

R. Maureen Maxwell

Second Advisor

Lydia M. Sonnenberg

Third Advisor

L. Lucile Lewis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Cholesterol, Dietary; Patient Compliance



Page Count

vii; 65

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives