The Worried well: Women living with Coeliac disease in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Aims and objectives: To explore how women with coeliac disease (CD) experience everyday life and their outlook on their future.
Background: Women who are diagnosed with CD and who are recommended to eat a gluten-free diet for life is likely to undergo a transition. It is therefore important that health professionals have insight into what it is like to live with a chronic illness and the factors that affect the lives of women who have CD.
Design: A qualitative approach with interviews was used. The inclusion criteria were: woman aged 20 years or more, CD diagnosed at least 2 years prior to inclusion, following a gluten-free diet and speaking Swedish fluently.
Method: A conventional content analysis was used for the subjective interpretation of the data content.
Results: Three main themes emerged in the analysis: illness trajectory and treatment, socializing with others and feelings of loneliness and worries. The findings indicate that living with CD affects the person’s entire life from the past, in the present, and into the future, especially when daily routines must be altered.
Conclusions: The women expressed a sense of loneliness and invisibility and are constantly worried about their health, which extended to the management of their diet when socializing with others. The diet is viewed as a friend, an enemy, an obstacle and an opportunity to enjoy a good life.
Relevance to clinical practice: Supporting women diagnosed with CD as adults during successful adaptation to their chronic illness appears to be a major task for health care professionals. Health care needs to address these women’s symptoms, worries and sense of invisibility.
coeliac disease, gluten-free diet, self-management, transition, women
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71897OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-71897DiVA: diva2:455244