Coeliac disease – women's experiences in everyday life

Authors

  • Lisa R Jacobsson MSc, RN,

    Junior Lecturer, Corresponding author
    • Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden
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  • Claes Hallert PhD, MD,

    Medical Doctor
    1. Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, Vrinnevi Hospital, Norrköping, Sweden
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  • Anna Milberg PhD, MD,

    Medical Doctor
    1. Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden
    2. Palliative Education and Research Centre in the county of Östergötland, Vrinnevi Hospital, Norrköping, Sweden
    3. LAH/Unit of Palliative Care, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Maria Friedrichsen PhD, RN

    Senior Clinical Teacher
    1. Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden
    2. Palliative Education and Research Centre in the county of Östergötland, Vrinnevi Hospital, Norrköping, Sweden
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Correspondence: Lisa R Jacobsson, Junior Lecturer, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, University of Linköping, 601 74 Norrköping, Sweden. Telephone: +46 11 363595.

E-mail: lisa.ring.jacobsson@liu.se

Abstract

Aims and objectives

To describe what life is like as a woman living with coeliac disease.

Background

The therapy for coeliac disease is a gluten-free diet, and if sufferers keep strictly to this, it is suggested that they will stay well. However, previous studies point out that people who are treated for coeliac disease, particularly women, experience various kinds of inconvenience in relation to having coeliac disease and to being treated with gluten-free diet.

Design

A qualitative research design was chosen.

Methods

A phenomenological approach as devised by Giorgi was used. Tape-recorded qualitative interviews with a total of 15 women who were being treated for coeliac disease were conducted in 2008 in Sweden.

Results

The results demonstrated that coeliac disease can influence women's lives in different ways. The general structure of being a woman with coeliac disease was described as a striving towards a normalised lifeworld. Three conditions necessary to achieve a normalised life were described, namely being secure, being in control and being seen and included.

Conclusion

Understanding factors affecting the ability to live with coeliac disease as normally as possible can help caregivers, and others, to support these women in their aims.

Relevance to clinical practice

Nurses should help women to adopt facilitating thoughts in relation to the disease and, in so doing, help them to select appropriate coping strategies.

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