Quality of life in inflammatory bowel diseases: it is not all about the bowel

Keller R1, Mazurak N2, Fantasia L1, Fusco S1, Malek NP1, Wehkamp J1, Enck P2, Klag T1. Intest Res. 2020 Feb 27. doi: 10.5217/ir.2019.00135. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Division of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Department of Internal Medicine VI, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


BACKGROUND/AIMS: The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and Crohn's disease (CD) are chronic diseases mostly affecting young patients. As they are diseases accompanying patients for their entire life, and the quality of life (QUOL) interacts with disease activity, improving QUOL should be one of the main goals of therapy. This study aims to identify factors contributing to good or impaired QUOL.

METHODS: Questionnaires addressing health-related QUOL and other psychological and social features were positioned on our institutions' webpage and on the webpage of the largest self-help group for IBD in Germany. Patients were subdivided according to their QUOL score with a cutoff of <60. We used the Short Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseQuestionnaire, the Assessment of the Demand for Additional Psychological Treatment, and the Fear of Progression Questionnaire Short Form.

RESULTS: High numbers of patients in both subgroups showed an impaired QUOL (87.34% in UC, 91.08% in CD). Active extraintestinal manifestations, smoking, high fear of progression and high demand for psychotherapy were associated with reduced QUOL. In addition, polypharmacological interventions did not result in a good QUOL, but ostomies are linked to improved QUOL especially in CD patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Scores used in clinical day-to-day-practice mainly focusing on somatic factors do not sufficiently address important aspects concerning QUOL. Most importantly, extraintestinal manifestations show a hitherto underestimated impact on QUOL.

© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.