There are many studies investigating quality of life in recently diagnosed patients and following surgery for Crohn's disease.
However, there are none investigating quality of life changes with disease duration.
The response shift model suggests quality of life improves with time following diagnosis.
Dr Canavan and colleagues assessed how well the model applies to patients with Crohn's disease.
The research team traced patients from the Cardiff Crohn's disease database in England, which contains data on all patients diagnosed there since 1934.
The team identified 394 patients diagnosed before 1985 and established their mortality status in December 2004.
The researchers sent 211 patients that were still living, a quality of life questionnaire.
|Older age and smoking adversely affect quality of life in Crohn's|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
A total of 285 questionnaires were sent to patients with varying disease duration attending out-patient clinics.
The team reported that 89 valid replies were received from Cardiff.
A further 63 replies were received from Leicester patients diagnosed over 20 years, and 69 from Leicester patients diagnosed less than 10 years.
There was no difference in quality of life between newly diagnosed and established patients.
The team noted that of greatest concern to patients was the possible need for ostomy, uncertain nature of disease, and lack of energy.
Using stepwise regression, the researchers showed that increased disease severity, older age and smoking adversely affect quality of life.
Dr Canavan's team commented, “Quality of life is equally poor in patients with established disease as in those newly diagnosed, and directly correlates with disease severity.”
“The response shift model may not be applicable in Crohn's disease.”