Celiac disease (CeD) has been linked to an elevation in mental health problems (MHD) and psychosocial distress, which can disturb the gluten-free diet therapy (GFD). The purpose of this single-centre cross-sectional study was to assess psychological requirements in CeD care by looking at psychological comorbidities in children with CeD. 73 parents of children visiting a multidisciplinary celiac disease clinic took part in the study. Parents filled out computerised questionnaires on their child’s MHD history, psychiatric symptoms, and GFD experiences. MHD rates were computed and compared to population-level data from the National Institute of Mental Health. The effects of child age, time after CeD diagnosis, and MHD on psychosocial symptoms and GFD experiences were investigated. Thirty-four per cent of children had at least one MHD, with anxiety disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is more frequent than in the general population. More than a quarter of parents reported current child psychosocial distress, and about half reported GFD-related parent stress and financial hardship. Parents of children with fresh CeD diagnoses reported reduced GFD confidence, although MHD, stress, and financial burden did not change over time since the CeD diagnosis. Children with MHD showed higher levels of anxiety, rage, overall distress, and parental distress than children without MHD.

Comorbid CeD and MHD were frequent and were linked to higher child and parent psychological distress. The findings highlight the need for psychological screening and treatment in detecting and treating concomitant MHD, as well as reducing the psychosocial suffering associated with the GFD.