Quality of life in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often measured in selected populations which may not represent patients in the community. Less than half of IBD patients in the community are likely to be under specialist care.
In this study, researchers from England assessed health-related quality of life in a community-based sample of patients with established IBD. The team also examined type and extent of disease, gender, age, material deprivation and other factors.
They identified 556 adults with established IBD using the records of 23 family practices.
|Scores were significantly lower in patients from more deprived districts.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
Patients completed the UK Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire.
Of the 556 patients, 74% provided the team with usable replies.
The researchers determined that a poorer quality of life was associated with female gender, Crohn's disease, more extensive disease, and being under specialist care.
Furthermore, they found that mean scores were significantly lower in patients from more deprived districts, independent of the type and extent of disease.
Dr Rubin's team concluded, "Most patients with established inflammatory bowel disease showed only minor impairment of their health-related quality of life".
"On average, women and those with Crohn's disease were relatively more affected".
"Clinicians responsible for the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease should be aware of these more vulnerable groups".