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Authors

  1. Paganizza, Stefania MSN, RN
  2. Zanotti, Renzo PhD
  3. D'Odorico, Anna MD
  4. Scapolo, Paola BSND
  5. Canova, Cristina PhD

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate adherence to a gluten-free diet and potentially associated factors, focusing on the relationship between adherence and knowledge of the gluten content of foods and of celiac disease in general. A questionnaire was completed by adult patients diagnosed with celiac disease including demographics, dietary practices, sources of information, and attitude to the disease. Their knowledge of disease and gluten-free diet was assessed using a newly developed scale comprising 31 statements on celiac disease in general and foods appropriate in a gluten-free diet. A validated questionnaire was used to measure adherence to diet. One hundred four patients with celiac disease took part in the study, 65% of them reported strictly adhering to a gluten-free diet. Factors associated with adherence were membership of the Italian Celiac Association and receiving support from this association, Internet, and social media. Patients' knowledge regarding celiac disease and gluten-free diet was generally poor: one patient answered all questions correctly. Knowledge of celiac disease and gluten-free diet was strongly and significantly associated with adherence to a gluten-free diet. The association between knowledge of celiac disease and gluten-free diet in patients with celiac disease and their adherence to the diet suggests the promotion of education and behavioral programs.