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Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and School Absenteeism

Eloi, Clémentine*; Foulon, Gauthier; Bridoux-Henno, Laure*; Breton, Estelle; Pelatan, Cecile§; Chaillou, Emilie; Grimal, Isabelle||; Darviot, Estelle; Carré, Emilie*; Gastineau, Swellen*; Tourtelier, Yann*; Nicaise, Dorothee; Rousseau, Chloe#; Dabadie, Alain*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: April 2019 - Volume 68 - Issue 4 - p 541–546
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002207
Original Article: Gastroenterology: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Objectives: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic diseases which negatively affect the schooling of children. The aim is to analyze school absenteeism and its causes in children followed for IBD.

Methods: A prospective multicenter study of IBD patients aged from 5 to 18 years old, from September 2016 to June 2017. Data on absenteeism and its causes were collected via a monthly questionnaire completed by patients or their family by mail. The results were compared with existing data supplied by the school authorities (497 students without IBD divided by class).

Results: A total of 106 patients (62 boys), median age of 14 (5–18), were included. The global response rate was 83.1%. The patients with IBD were absent an average of 4.8% ± 5.5% of school days during the school year, against 3.2% ± 1.6% for non IBD group (P = 0.034). Digestive disorders accounted for 34% of the causes of absenteeism. Approximately 27% of the absences were due to scheduled events (hospitalizations, endoscopy, or consultations). By excluding the absences for scheduled care, the rate of school absenteeism of patients with IBD is significantly lower than that of non-IBD group.

Conclusion: Children with IBD are more frequently absent from school than non-IBD group. The main cause of school absenteeism appears to be associated with the disease itself. The share of scheduled absenteeism is quite large. The organization and scheduling of the patients’ care path must be a priority to maximally limit the negative impact of their disease on the patients’ schooling.

*Department of Child and Adolescent Medicine, CHU Rennes Hôpital Sud, Rennes Cedex 2

CHU Angers, Paediatric Unit, Angers

CH Saint Brieuc, Paediatric Unit, Saint-Brieuc

§CH Le Mans, Paediatric Unit, Le Mans

||CH Cholet, Paediatric Unit, Cholet

Clinique de l’Anjou, Angers

#CHU Rennes Pontchaillou, Clinical Pharmacology Service, Rennes, France.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Alain Dabadie, MD, Department of Child and Adolescent Medicine, CHU Rennes Hôpital Sud, 16 Boulevard de Bulgarie, BP 90347, 35203 Rennes Cedex 2, France (e-mail:

Received 22 August, 2018

Accepted 28 October, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,