Florine Witzig

Fostering Knowledge About Celiac

Celiac Disease to Support Patients

Celiac Disease


Celiac disease is a chronic immune condition triggered by the consumption of gluten, found in wheat, barley, spelt, and rye. Gluten damages the small intestine, causing symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. Properly managing the disease requires a lifelong gluten-free diet, which helps alleviate symptoms and promotes intestinal healing. However, patients must prevent food contamination.


The Key Concerns Regarding Celiac Disease

Celiac disease affects around 1 in 100 people. The systemic challenges include underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of celiac disease due to a lack of knowledge among physicians, limited testing of high-risk groups, and disregarding chronic iron deficiency as a potential symptom.

The psychological impact of celiac disease is also significant. The misperception among society and the limitations imposed by a gluten-free diet may lead to feelings of social isolation and the inability to participate fully in activities.


The Design Process

The research approach involved interviews with patients, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, and general practitioners, to comprehensively understand the concerns and barriers related to celiac disease. A participatory design approach was applied, where stakeholders were actively involved in identifying barriers to diagnosis and addressing concerns associated with the disease. This approach aimed to ensure that the design proposal developed was relevant and aligned with the actual needs and concerns of the main stakeholders.

The Design Proposal

The design proposal aims to address not only the medical aspects but also the lifestyle challenges and emotional well-being of people with celiac disease.

The intervention involves a multilayered knowledge transfer concept tailored to a theoretical and practical strategy.


Theoretical Knowledge Transfer

One part of the theoretical knowledge transfer is aimed at society and seeks to raise awareness about celiac disease and its restrictions. The other part addresses general practitioners and gynecologists and aims to foster knowledge about celiac disease symptoms and diagnosis. Furthermore, it seeks to make gynecologists aware of the link between chronic iron deficiency and celiac disease.


Practical Knowledge Transfer

The practical knowledge transfer consists of continuing education for primary care physicians and gynecologists and promotes knowledge about celiac disease more practically. As physicians must attend 80 hours of mandatory continuing education each year, knowledge about celiac disease can be shared resource-effectively at medical congresses.


Addressing the knowledge gaps and fostering collaboration among stakeholders can improve the overall situation surrounding the disease. This can lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses, reducing medical costs and complications associated with delayed diagnosis.

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