Quality of Life in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disorder, which negatively affects the quality of life of patients compared with the general population. The measurement of health-related quality of life is the prerequisite for assessing patient needs and for the appropriate nursing care planning. Aim: To investigate the health-related quality of life of patients with IBD and theist associated parameters. Method: A cross sectional study was conducted of 58 patients with IBD [35 with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 23 with Crohn’s disease (CD)], who were attending the outpatient clinic of a general hospital in Athens. Telephone data collection was made during a 3-month period using (a) the Greek version of the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ) for quality of life assessment, and (b) a specific short questionnaire for basic demographic and clinical information. Comparison was made of the quality of life of patients with UC and CD and investigation was made of the parameters that affect it for each patient group separately (age, gender, disease duration and smoking habits). Statistical analysis included t-test using the software Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v. 14.0 for Windows. The p-value of ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Of the participants in the study, 51.7% were female, 60.3% suffered from UC and 39.7% from CD. The patients with CD had statistically significant lower SIBDQ scores than those with UC (p=0.08). No statistically significant correlation was found between the age, gender, smoking and disease duration and the quality of life for each patient group separately. Conclusions: The assessment of the quality of life of patients with IBD could direct the provision of holistic care aimed at meeting the real patient needs. Patients with UC appear to experience better quality of life than those with CD, while the various demographic and clinical patient characteristics did not appear to affect the quality of life significantly in either group.