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A World without Wheat: The Journey Toward Acceptance of a Diagnosis of Celiac Disease Open Access


Other title
chronic illness
Celiac disease
illness narrative
adaptive coping
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Sonya Patricia Quinlan-Jacob
Supervisor and department
Dr. Pamela Brett-MacLean
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Jean Waters Marie-Therese Cave, MSc, PGDip Couns. Cert. Ed.
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling
Degree level
A medical diagnosis can change the life of a person forever. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore how women in their twenties had been given a celiac disease diagnosis and their journey toward acceptance of the diagnosis. Three women were individually interviewed over a 40-65 minute period. The interviews were audio recorded. Following a close analysis of the interview transcripts, the related experiences of the women were placed in a story-map to better visualize their past and present experiences as well as their concerns about possible future complications and questions they had about the future. Six common themes were easily identified in all of the women’s stories: 1) experiencing symptoms of undiagnosed celiac disease; 2) importance of communication in the diagnosis process; 3) concerns related to following a gluten-free diet; 4) emotional aspects of acceptance; 5) the role of supports in the journey to acceptance; and 6) changes in self-identity. The role of spirituality was considered as an aspect of the women’s experience. This study helped to identify what made it possible for these women to journey toward acceptance of their celiac diagnosis.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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