Parents of 43 children with celiac disease, 28% of whom were classified as noncompliant, were interviewed. The knowledge, attitudes, and dietary behavior of parents of compliant patients were compared with those of noncompliant patients. Parents of compliant patients are better educated and from a higher social class. Although objective knowledge of the disease is similar in both groups, parents of compliant patients consider themselves adequately informed about the disease and are better able to choose gluten-free items from a menu. Parents of compliant patients are less worried about health in general but are more concerned with possible adverse effects celiac disease might have on the future of their children. Parents of both groups are not significantly different with regard to their understanding of the diet, the tendency to use medical care, and the perception of barriers to compliance or social support. It was concluded that to increase dietary compliance in celiac patients, parents should be guided mainly by the following three purposes: (1) enhancing their subjective evaluation of their own knowledge of celiac disease; (2) improving their practical ability to handle a menu; (3) increasing their anxiety regarding possible long-term adverse effects.
- Received December 27, 1988.
- Accepted March 22, 1989.
- Copyright © 1990 by the American Academy of Pediatrics