Experiences With Celiac Disease For Those In Rural Versus Urban Areas Of Western North Carolina

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca Lynn Howell (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Martin Root

Abstract: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is managed by adhering to a life-long gluten-free diet. To properly follow a gluten-free diet and treat celiac disease access to gluten-free products, healthcare professionals and adequate economic means are necessary. As rural populations are often lacking in access to food retailers, healthcare, and are typically poorer than urban populations it is expected that the diet would be harder to follow in rural locations, indicating a need for research in this topic. This study determined access to grocery stores, restaurants, and healthcare professionals in the 27 counties of western North Carolina using publicly accessible data found online. It further involved an online survey of participants living in the area who have been diagnosed with celiac disease or is caring for someone with the condition related to perceptions of access and satisfaction, economic means, and the barriers to manage their disease. The county-specific data confirmed the hypothesis that access and economic means were more limited in rural areas than in urban areas. The survey suggested more similarities between the two populations and did not clearly confirm or reject the hypothesis. Research in this area is limited, so potential explanations for the differences seen in the county-specific and survey data cannot be validated but instead demonstrates the need for additional research in the management of celiac disease in rural areas.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Howell, R. (2018). "Experiences With Celiac Disease For Those In Rural Versus Urban Areas Of Western North Carolina." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Rural nutrition, Rural populations, Celiac disease, Western North Carolina

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