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Gastroenterol Nurs. 2011 Nov-Dec;34(6):460-8. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e318237d201.

The relationship between quality of life and coping strategies of adults with celiac disease adhering to a gluten-free diet.

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  • 1Division of Nursing, Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Canton, Ohio 44710, USA.


In the United States, the prevalence of celiac disease has increased from 1 in 4,600 persons to 1 in 133 persons during the past 10 years. Although celiac disease can be managed by strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, dietary management can be challenging. A descriptive, correlational design was used to examine factors and perceived causes that interfere with adherence to a gluten-free diet, identify coping strategies, and examine the relationship between coping strategies and quality of life in 156 adults with a diagnosis of celiac disease. The Psychological General Well-Being Index and the Brief COPE were used to measure the major variables. Results indicated that problems outside the home interfere with dietary adherence. A moderate negative significant relationship (r [154] = -.46, p < .01) was found between quality of life and stress, with 54% of participants reporting a minimal amount of stress. Emotion-focused coping was found to have a significant negative effect on quality of life (H[18] = 56.67, p < .001). Implications for future research should include investigation of cognitive behavioral interventions to decrease the negative effects of stress on quality of life for adults with celiac disease adhering to a gluten-free diet.

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