Abstract

Despite the benefits of a gluten-free diet, it is estimated that only 42% to 91% adhere it to it strictly. This study analyzes the relation between psychological factors and quality of life within the Social Cognitive Theory. A transversal observational study was designed to investigate in 306 celiac patients the effect on the quality of life of expectation of general and specific selfefficacy, adherence to a gluten-free diet, knowledge of the illness and valuation of risk. Results indicate that 72.3% of patients show and excellent or good adherence to the diet and that this associated to both a high expectation of specific self-efficacy and to the adoption of recommended behaviors and a better life quality. This enhanced life quality, in turn, is associated with a high expectation of self-efficacy, high adherence to the gluten-free diet and a low valuation of risks. No associations were found for sex, age, and time since diagnosis, intensity of symptoms or the long-term effects of the illness. Situating adherence to a glutenfree diet in the Social Cognitive Theory means programs can be designed that improve this by increasing expectations of self-efficacy and, consequently, the celiac patient’s quality of life.