Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) impairs patients' perception of health and has a negative impact on health-related quality of life.
Most studies include patients from a single hospital, which may bias results through the use of small patient samples and/or samples within a restricted disease spectrum.
Dr Casellas and colleagues measured health-related quality of life in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease from 9 hospitals located in different geographical areas in Spain.
The researchers used 2 questionnaires including the Spanish version of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire and the EuroQol, expressing the results as medians.
The research team included 1156 patients, of which 528 had ulcerative colitis and 628 had Crohn’s disease.
The patients’ median age was 35 years with a slight predominance of women patients at 617 versus 539 male patients.
All 5 dimensions of the IBD questionnaire showed lower scores with active ulcerative colitis|
|Inflammatory Bowel Disease|
The researchers found that health-related quality of life worsened in parallel with disease severity to a similar extent in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire scores for ulcerative colitis were 6, 5, and 4 for the 3 disease severity groups, respectively.
The team noted that Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire scores for Crohn’s disease were 6, 5, and 4, respectively.
The investigators observed a similar inverse relation between clinical activity and quality of life when EuroQol preference values were used.
The team found that all 5 dimensions of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire showed significantly lower scores in patients with active ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease than in patients in remission.
The pattern of scores by Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire dimensions differed between patients in relapse, who scored worse on the digestive symptoms dimension, and patients in remission.
In addition, the researchers found that disease activity, time of evolution since diagnosis and female sex, were significantly associated with having a worse perception of health-related quality of life.
The team reported that the type of disease or geographical area of residence did not influence results on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire.
Dr Casellas concludes, “Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease impair patients' health-related quality of life.”
“The degree of impairment depends on disease activity but is independent of the type of disease and place of residence.”