Patients' perspectives on medication for inflammatory bowel disease: a mixed-method systematic review

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Sep 1;33(9):1139-1147. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000001861.

José Diego Marques Santos 1, Juan Nicolás Peña-Sánchez 1, Sharyle A Fowler 2


Author information

1Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.

2Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a lifelong chronic disease that frequently requires long-term medical treatment to maintain remission. Patient perspectives on IBD medication are important to understand as nonadherence to IBD medication is common. We aim to synthesize the evidence about patients' perspectives on medication for IBD. A mixed-method systematic review was conducted on Scopus, EMBASE, Web of Science, and CINAHL. The convergent integrated approach to synthesis and integration of qualitative and quantitative findings was used for data analysis. Twenty-five articles from 20 countries were included in this review (20 quantitative, 3 qualitative, and 2 mixed-method studies). Patients have identified a lack of knowledge in the areas of efficacy, side effects, and characteristics of medications as key elements. Some negative views on IBD medication may also be present (e.g. the high number of pills and potential side effects). Lack of knowledge about medication for IBD was identified as a common issue for patients. Health services delivery for IBD should take into consideration these patients' perspectives. A focus on improving patient education in these areas could help empower patients and alleviate doubts resulting in better disease management and improved healthcare outcomes.

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