Health Literacy associated with gluten free dietary adherence and request for healthcare appointments

Yvonne Jeanes, Sharon Kallos, Louisa Mills, Adele Costabile

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Treatment of coeliac disease (CD) requires patients to upskill and change behaviours in order to adhere to a gluten free (GF) diet. Good health literacy (HL) enables patients to make decisions relating to their own health and is highly relevant to the self management of CD.
An online questionnaire was completed by 671 UK adults with coeliac disease during 2019. GF dietary adherence (CDAT), HL (HSL-Q12) and GF dietary knowledge scores were calculated. Ethical approval: University of Roehampton.
Patient cohort was 82%female, 98% white, 48% degree level educated, 46% adhering to GF diet. Greater HL score correlated with better GF dietary adherence score (r=-0.23, p<0.001) and better knowledge of what foods are GF (r=0.14, p<0.001), pointing towards less over restricting. Participants who had lower HL and GF dietary knowledge scores were more likely to report to often or always having ‘difficulty finding food out of the house’ (n=326) compared with those who had higher scores (p<0.01). Participants who considered the annual review appointments important had significantly lower HL, poorer GF dietary adherence and lower GF dietary knowledge scores compared with those who did not consider annual reviews important.
This is the first study to report an association between HL and GF dietary adherence, in a large cohort of adults with CD. We suggest healthcare professionals consider patient HL in their service provision and when helping patients to engage with the lifestyle modifications required to adhere to a GF diet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICDS 2022 Sorrento Abstract Book
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2022

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