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


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.