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Physical Activity, Stress, Disease Activity, and Quality of Life in Adults With Crohn Disease

Crumbock, Sean C. BS, RN; Loeb, Susan J. PhD, RN; Fick, Donna M. PhD, GCNS-BC, FGSA

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e3181a85d4b
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Physical activity and stress reduction are recognized strategies for chronic disease management. They are recommended for people with a variety of diseases; however, little attention has been paid to the effects of regular physical activity and stress reduction in people with Crohn disease (CD). The aim of this pilot study was to examine the relationship that both physical activity and stress levels have with disease activity (a subscale of a quality of life [QOL] measure). A 2-pronged approach to sampling, using an online Crohn support forum and snowball sampling, was implemented over a period of 3 months to conduct this survey. Seventeen adults with CD completed 3 questionnaires measuring physical activity, stress levels, disease activity, and QOL. Although no significant correlations were found for disease activity with stress or physical activity, significant relationships were revealed for QOL with both stress and physical activity. The direct relationship between physical activity and QOL and the inverse relationship between stress and QOL are noteworthy for persons with CD, as well as their healthcare providers. Suggestions for important research design considerations are presented, along with future research needs.

Sean C. Crumbock, BS, RN, is Registered Nurse, Cardio-Thoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Susan J. Loeb, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor, School of Nursing; Department of Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine; and Affiliate Faculty Gerontology Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Donna M. Fick, PhD, GCNS-BC, FGSA, is Associate Professor, School of Nursing; Department of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine; and Affiliate Faculty Gerontology Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Correspondence to: Susan J. Loeb, PhD, RN, School of Nursing; Department of Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine; and Affiliate Faculty Gerontology Center, 307G/H Health & Human Development East, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (Sean.Crumbock@uphs.upenn.edu).

Received July 1, 2008; accepted September 17, 2008.

© The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses & Associates 2009. All Rights Reserved.