Vol. 2 No. 3 (2023): infermieristica journal: your heart, our beat

The factors obstaculating adherence to the gluten free diet in the youth bands: an observational study

Bartolomeo Rinaldi

Published 2023-10-31


  • Celiac Disease,
  • Gluten-Free Foods,
  • Gluten Free Diet,
  • Adherence Difficulties




Celiac Disease (CD) affects the small intestine and it’s characterized by a high sensitivity to gluten. Among the main signs and symptoms, there are typical or intestinal ones such as abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, diarrhea, weight loss, atrophy of the intestinal villi. At the moment, the only effective therapy is to follow a gluten-free diet during a long-life. The aim of the study is to investigate the difficulties of adherence to GFD in young people with CD.

Materials and methods

A questionnaire was administered to the population under study (15-30 years), between 9 July 2022 and 29 August 2022. The interviewees answered 28 questions: 5 concerning the socio-demographic variable, 23 concerning the difficulties of adherence to the GFD.


227 people answered the questionnaire. Among them, a low percentage was sent to the attention of a dietician or psychologist. 78.8% prepare their own meal independently. 78.4% believe they know very well the foods they can eat and 93% say they follow the diet stringently.


Following the GF diet is a challenge for most young people with CD. Restaurants offering GF meals are limited and this could be a reason for giving up leisure and socializing, or in the worst-case scenario, the person with CD is forced not to join the GFD. The risk of contamination that can involve fear, isolation, embarrassment in asking questions, is another factor to always keep in mind.


Adherence difficulties begins with the CD diagnosis and the taking charge. The main problem in related to the social setting of young people, who wants to live without complications due to crance of places with GF food. Literature should investigate about adherence difficulties, instead of quality of life and behaviour CD related. It’s necessary to improve the attention on GF world to decrease discomfort about medical conditions.


FD, celiac disease, gluten-free foods, therapy, adherence difficulties.


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