The purpose of this descriptive study was to assess the perceived level of social support in a sample of people with inflammatory bowel disease. This assessment was to serve as the basis for the development and evaluation of a program of social support. The Personal Resource Questionnaire (PRQ-85), which measures perceived level of social support, was mailed to all members (n = 300) of the Northwestern Society for Intestinal Research. Adults who met the eligibility criteria were invited to participate. Questionnaires and consent forms were completed and returned by 97 subjects.
Results indicated that subjects would use a variety of resources if confronted with situations that required social support. The perceived level of social support was high, with mean scores for this inflammatory bowel disease sample reported at 143.86 of a possible 175. A two-tailed t-test suggests there is no significant difference in perceived level of social support between those subjects with Crohn disease and those with ulcerative colitis at the 0.05 level of significance. Because the level of social support was so high in this sample, plans to develop a program of support were abandoned. The meaning of these results including an analysis of the scores and a critique of the questionnaire are discussed.