Concerns of patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a review of emerging themes

Dig Dis Sci. 2000 Jan;45(1):26-31. doi: 10.1023/a:1005492806777.


Idiopathic, chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two diseases-ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). Despite an abundant literature discussing the pathophysiology and treatment of these diseases, little if any empirical studies have focused on patients' subjective experiences with their diseases. The purpose of this paper was to identify and discuss the concerns of individuals with IBD and to suggest that the integration of concerns in clinical management is necessary for a comprehensive understanding of these chronic and debilitating diseases. In addition, case studies were included to highlight the concerns of people with IBD. Our review of the literature identified eight categories of concerns for individuals with IBD. They included loss of energy, loss of control, body image, isolation and fear, not reaching full potential, feeling dirty, and lack of information from the medical community. In conclusion, we argue that the efficacy of treatment for IBD would be greatly improved if psychosocial issues were to be integrated into treatment protocols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology*
  • Male