Dr Lesley Graff and colleagues from Canada assessed a population-based cohort of patients with recently diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The team of doctors evaluated the relationship of disease type and disease activity with psychological functioning and quality of life in these patients.
A total of 388 individuals diagnosed within 7 years were recruited from a population-based registry of IBD patients for the Manitoba IBD Cohort Study.
Participants completed a clinical interview and standardized self-report measures of positive and negative psychological functioning, and quality of life.
The doctors determined disease activity by symptom self-report over the prior 6 months.
|74% with Crohn's had active disease during the previous 6 months|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Harvey-Bradshaw or Powell-Tuck disease activity indices also were used.
The team used chart verification to determine disease.
The doctors found that 74% of Crohn's disease, and 66% of ulcerative colitis participants had active disease during the previous 6 months.
Multivariate regression showed that those with active disease had higher levels of distress, health anxiety, and perceived stress, and lower social support.
The team of doctors noted that well-being and mastery, and poorer disease-specific quality of life was higher in those with active disease.
Disease type was not contributory to psychological functioning or quality of life.
The doctors observed that pain anxiety and pain-specific catastrophizing were not associated with disease activity.
In addition, the team reported that participants with either active or inactive disease had suboptimal general quality of life.
Dr Graff's team comments, “Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease participants were not differentiated in their psychological profiles.”
“Given the strong association between disease-specific quality of life, psychological functioning, and disease activity, it is important to be aware of related difficulties in patients with active IBD.”
“There is a continued impact on quality of life by the disease, even when it is inactive.”