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  4. A study to compare group versus individual dietetic intervention in patients with newly diagnosed coeliac disease

A study to compare group versus individual dietetic intervention in patients with newly diagnosed coeliac disease

Principal Investigator: Professor David Sanders, Consultant Gastroenterologist

Institution: Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield  

Research classification: Management of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis

Project start & duration: January 2015 (24 months)

Grant Awarded: £39.4k (the researcher is self funding for the first year)

The cornerstone of the management of patients with coeliac disease is a gluten-free diet. Adherence to a gluten-free diet may not only alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life but also reduce the risk of the development of complications. 

Patients with coeliac disease within the UK have expressed a preference for a dietetic led clinic with access to a gastroenterologist who has an interest in their condition. However, despite the increasing number of individuals being diagnosed with coeliac disease, dietetic gastroenterology services are estimated to be a third of what is recommended by the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Conventionally a patient with newly diagnosed coeliac disease will have an individual clinic appointment. This project will assess whether a group clinic is comparable to an individual clinic appointment. Adherence to the gluten-free diet, blood antibody levels, the presence or absence of nutrient deficiencies, quality of life and patient satisfaction with the services will be measured and compared.

If after evaluating each of these parameters there are no differences between the two groups (at three months) then a group clinic could be a cost effective approach that would improve the utilisation of dietetic resources for patients with coeliac disease and allow them to be seen sooner.

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