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Effect of threatening life experiences and adverse family relations in ulcerative colitis: analysis using structural equation modeling and comparison with Crohn’s disease

Slonim-Nevo, Vered; Sarid, Orly; Friger, Michael; Schwartz, Doron; Sergienko, Ruslan; Pereg, Avihu; Vardi, Hillel; Singer, Terri; Chernin, Elena; Greenberg, Dan; Odes, Shmuelon behalf of the Israeli IBD Research Nucleus (IIRN)

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: May 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 5 - p 577–586
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000826
Original Articles: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Background and aims We published that threatening life experiences and adverse family relations impact Crohn’s disease (CD) adversely. In this study, we examine the influence of these stressors in ulcerative colitis (UC).

Patients and methods Patients completed demography, economic status (ES), the Patient-Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index (P-SCCAI), the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ), the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Family Assessment Device (FAD), and the List of Threatening Life Experiences (LTE). Analysis included multiple linear and quantile regressions and structural equation modeling, comparing CD.

Results UC patients (N=148, age 47.55±16.04 years, 50.6% women) had scores [median (interquartile range)] as follows: SCAAI, 2 (0.3–4.8); FAD, 1.8 (1.3–2.2); LTE, 1.0 (0–2.0); SF-36 Physical Health, 49.4 (36.8–55.1); SF-36 Mental Health, 45 (33.6–54.5); Brief Symptom Inventory-Global Severity Index (GSI), 0.5 (0.2–1.0). SIBDQ was 49.76±14.91. There were significant positive associations for LTE and SCAAI (25, 50, 75% quantiles), FAD and SF-36 Mental Health, FAD and LTE with GSI (50, 75, 90% quantiles), and ES with SF-36 and SIBDQ. The negative associations were as follows: LTE with SF-36 Physical/Mental Health, SIBDQ with FAD and LTE, ES with GSI (all quantiles), and P-SCCAI (75, 90% quantiles). In structural equation modeling analysis, LTE impacted ES negatively and ES impacted GSI negatively; LTE impacted GSI positively and GSI impacted P-SCCAI positively. In a split model, ES had a greater effect on GSI in UC than CD, whereas other path magnitudes were similar.

Conclusion Threatening life experiences, adverse family relations, and poor ES make UC patients less healthy both physically and mentally. The impact of ES is worse in UC than CD.

aSpitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Departments of bPublic Health

cHealth Systems Management

dTechnical Staff, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

eDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Correspondence to Shmuel Odes, MD, AGAF, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 653, Beer Sheba 84105, Israel Tel: +972 522 700 752; fax: +972 862 33083; e-mail:

Received September 26, 2016

Accepted November 23, 2016

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