Celiac Disease Couples Study at PSU


gluten free pizza

Now that I have your attention …

So what does Gluten-Free Pizza have to do with a Celiac Disease Couples Study at PSU? Do you and your significant other share meal time together?  I mean really share in the process of planning and creating meals together to support your dietary restrictions living a Gluten-Free lifestyle due to Celiac Disease?

May is Celiac Awareness month and I wanted to share some very interesting information with you about a local  “Celiac Disease Couples Study at PSU”.  I recently chatted with Lindsey Alley, a graduate researcher in the Social Psychology program at Portland State University, (PSU). Her work focuses on eating behaviors within romantic relationships, and the roles of dietary support, emotions, and social interactions on diet adherence.

Lindsey explained that she used to work at Whole Foods Market several years ago.  She found that a large number of people would go to the market in hopes of finding support for Celiac Disease and learning about Gluten-Free foods.  Ironically, around the same time, she decided to go back to college to get her graduate degree and further her research in human behaviors. Little did she know that the seed was planted within her to research the lifestyles of people with Celiac Disease and their relationships.

I asked Lindsey what the purpose of the study is and she said, “Eating is an integral part of the human experience, which affects every aspect of our social lives.  Celiac patients are in a particularly interesting situation, in that they have been required to alter their “normal” diet to adhere to a strictly Gluten-Free one in order to maintain, or return to, adequate health.”  

She also noted that “It seems intuitive, and psychological literature supports, that such a change in behavior would affect not only the emotional well-being of the patient but also that of their closest ties (e.g., spouse, children, best friends). Until now, research has yet to explore dietary adherence as it pertains to couple functioning within the Celiac community. Thus, the aim of this exploratory study is to gain a basic understanding of what romantic relationships look like for Celiac patients; and specifically, to explore what role dietary support may play in how these individuals and their partners appraise their relationship.”

Lindsey says, “She feels that Celiac Disease provides an exciting arena for food research since the only current treatment is the adoption of an “extreme” dietary shift”. She is excited to share her findings from this study, and knowledge of dietary support from previous research, with the Celiac community!”

Adults with celiac disease and their significant others

are needed for a research study!

 People with Celiac Disease are needed to participate in a nationwide survey. 

Questions will focus on how you eat, what your relationship is like, and your thoughts about the gluten free diet.

Both medically and self-diagnosed people with Celiac Disease can take this survey.

If you choose to take the survey, they will also contact your significant other or spouse by email to see if he or she would like to take it.

They are looking for couples that have been together for at least six months, and where both members are at least 18 years old.

The survey will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary, meaning you can decide to quit at any time.

You and your significant other are encouraged to take the survey separate from each other to maintain confidentiality.

Take the Celiac Disease Couples survey here.

Please share this post with your friends and family that have Celiac Disease.  The study will end on June 30, 2014.

So the next time you are in the kitchen preparing your meal, ask your significant other if they would be willing to support you and us – the Celiac Disease community by taking some time to answer some questions about your relationship and Gluten-Free food.

I look forward to following up with Lindsey and sharing results with you at the end of the Summer or early Fall.

THANK YOU in advance for your participation in the study!