Creation of Experience-based Celiac Benchmarks: The First Step in Pretransition Self-management Assessment

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Abstract

Objectives:

Transition planning for children with chronic disease includes the development of independence in many self-management tasks. Conditions that depend on diet have distinct skill sets not well assessed by the traditional transition-readiness tools. There has been literature that describes age-appropriate skill acquisition for diabetes and food allergy patients. There are, however, no age-appropriate benchmarks established for celiac disease (CD).

Methods:

CD experts (including physician, nurse, dietician, social worker, patient, and parent) created a list of celiac-related tasks, which formed the basis of the survey. Patients with CD, and their parents, were recruited from outpatient celiac clinic and support groups, and invited to report the age each task was mastered.

Results:

Respondents included 204 patients and 155 parents. Mean age was 12 years (standard deviation 4.6) with average of 4 years since diagnosis. The earliest tasks were mastered by a median age of 8 years, such as recognizing GF as gluten-free, eating safely in a shared space and recognizing basic unsafe foods. Describing the effects of eating gluten or explaining CD to a friend or stranger occurred around age 10. Asking about gluten-free preparation in a restaurant, and identifying gluten-free medications or vitamins was mastered around age 12, whereas tasks involved with safe domestic travel or assessing risk in a job environment occurred between 14 and 16. The interquartile range was about 4 years for each question. No significant difference seen between patient and parent reports.

Conclusions:

This novel patient-centered celiac skill list may improve anticipatory guidance and accelerate self-management skills.

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