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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2020 Feb 7. doi: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_495_19. [Epub ahead of print]

Social media usage pattern and its influencing factors among celiac patients and their families.

Author information

Gastroenterology Unit, Pediatric Department; Prince Abdullah Bin Khalid Celiac Disease Research Chair, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



The aim of this study was to investigate social media usage patterns among celiac patients and explore the potential factors that may influence the frequency of its usage.

Patients and Methods:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted, in which an online questionnaire was sent to celiac patients registered in the Saudi celiac patients' support group through email and its related social media accounts. Eligible participants included all patients with biopsy-confirmed celiac disease or their parents.


In total, 221 participants completed the survey. The majority (96%, n = 212/221) reported using social media networks for their disease management. We included only those participants in the analysis. The median age was 36 years (range; 18-60 years). The majority of respondents (59.4%) were female. Most participants (65.6%) were patients with celiac disease and 34.4% were parents of celiac patients. The median duration of the disease was three years (range; 1 month-26 years). The three most frequently visited social media platforms were WhatsApp by 175 (82.5%) participants, Instagram by 132 (62.3%), and Twitter by 124 (58.5%) participants. The median time spent on social media was 60 min per day (range; 10-720 min). Multivariate logistic regression showed that celiac disease patients used social media two times more than the parents of celiac patients (OR 2.37, 95% CI: 1.19 - 4.72; P = 0.014).


Celiac patients are highly involved in social media activities for purposes related to their disease. We encourage healthcare providers to be available online to provide trustable and high-quality educational materials.


Celiac disease; gluten-free diet; social media


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