Assessment of adherence to gluten-free diet (GFD) represents the cornerstone in the management of coeliac disease. The primary aim of this study was to assess diet adherence through a questionnaire adapted to children. The secondary aim was to identify influencing factors and outcomes related to diet adherence. In this study, data about diagnosis, education, quality of life (QoL) and anti-transglutaminase (anti-TG2) titers of 160 coeliac children were collected. For the assessment of diet adherence, all participants completed the questionnaire modified from Leffler et al. (2009), while a random sample of 37 also underwent an extensive dietary interview. According to the questionnaire, diet adherence was excellent in 95 (59.4%), fair in 46 (28.8%) and low in 19 (11.9%) patients. Children diagnosed with biopsy showed better adherence than those with a biopsy-sparing approach (p = 0.036). Adherence to GFD tended to worsen during the follow up, with the average length of follow up being associated with lower scores of diet adherence (p = 0.009). Moreover, adherence to GFD decreased throughout school career, dropping from elementary until high school (p = 0.037). A positive correlation was observed between adherence to GFD and growth percentiles, which increased when higher scores of adherence were achieved. Diet adherence positively correlated with QoL (p = 0.001). In conclusion, the questionnaire displayed good sensitivity in detecting problems in diet adherence, being useful as a screening tool. Better comprehension of influencing factors and outcomes may allow the development of new strategies to improve diet adherence.
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