To establish the impairment of different dimensions of quality of life in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Prospective observational study.
289 patients [160 with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 129 with Crohn's disease (CD)].
Health-related quality of life was assessed by means of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ) and the Psychological General Well Being Index (PGWBI).
In active IBD, all dimensions of the quality of life scored significantly lower than in inactive IBD, indicating a poor quality of life. Social impairment was the least impaired dimension of the IBDQ in active UC and CD, compared with digestive and systemic symptoms. In inactive IBD, the systemic symptoms domain received the lowest score (P < 0.01). In a subgroup of 22 patients studied before and after remission, emotional function was the most impaired dimension after achieving remission. The Psychological General Well Being Index was significantly impaired in active UC [78.5 (range 64–89)] and CD [76.5 (range 69–97)] relative inactive IBD [104 (range 93–111)] vs 106 (95–113), respectively;P < 0.05].
Quality of life is impaired in IBD. During relapse, clinicians should pay attention to digestive symptoms and psychological distress. In remission, they should be sensitive to systemic symptoms.
aDigestive System Research Unit, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, bInternal Medicine Service, Hospital General de Catalunya, and cInstitut de Salut Pública de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Received 2 July 2000
Revised 3 August 2000
Accepted 8 November 2000
This work was supported by a grant from Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (98/0427) de la Seguridad Social of Spain.
Correspondence to Dr Francesc Casellas, Digestive System Research Unit, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Pso. Vall d'Hebron 119, Barcelona 08035, SpainTel/fax: +34 93 428 18 83