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Portuguese Journal of Public Health

Print version ISSN 2504-3137On-line version ISSN 2504-3145


BOUTAHAR, Kaltoum et al. Anxiety and Associated Factors during the COVID-19 Pandemic Confinement in the Moroccan Adult Celiac Disease Population. Port J Public Health [online]. 2022, vol.40, n.3, pp.163-171.  Epub Dec 31, 2022. ISSN 2504-3137.


The widespread lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was insured by Moroccan authorities in early 2020 to preserve the health of citizens. The lockdown and the pandemic imposed psychological effects on the population including anxiety. Celiac disease (CeD), a chronic disease among the most common inflammatory intestinal disorders, has been linked to adult emotional disturbances. Hence, CeD patients may suffer from anxiety or increase this condition due to the concomitant situation. The objective of this study was to assess COVID-19-related anxiety in a sample of adults with CeD in comparison with a matched healthy group.


CeD patients (103) and matched healthy group (101) were investigated using a web-based COVID-19 and related lockdown anxiety survey. Anxiety was assessed with the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI test: Y1 for state anxiety and Y2 for trait anxiety).


State anxiety was present among 65.3% of CeD and 41.6% of the comparison group, and the difference was statistically significant. CeD women suffered more from state anxiety than their compeers in the comparison group (t = 3.23; p = 0.002), and a significant correlation between good compliance to GFD and less state anxiety was found among CeD patients (r = 0.31; p = 0.002). 61.8% of CeD participants thought they were at higher risk of contamination by COVID-19, and they were mostly women (χ2 = 7.66, p < 0.006) and had significantly higher state anxiety mean scores than their compatriots who did not express these thoughts (t = 2.93; p = 0.004). Additionally, 41.5% of CeD participants had anxiety as a trait against 26.7% in the comparison group and the difference between the two groups was statistically significant.


Results of this survey allow a better understanding of the health-related pandemic effects on Moroccan CeD patients. It demonstrates that COVID-19 and related lockdowns had a serious impact on the psychological balance of these patients by increasing their anxiety. The survey results underlined the need to improve the psychological care of CeD patients notably by considering remote medical visits during this ongoing pandemic to provide mental health support.

Keywords : Coeliac diseaseCOVID-19; Lockdown; Anxiety.

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