Evaluation of the effectiveness of a specialist nurse in the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2000 Sep;12(9):967-73. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200012090-00001.


Objective: To determine the effect of a specialist nurse on the management outcome of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Design: Audit of the management of a cohort of patients in the year prior to the employment of the specialist nurse and the year immediately after.

Subjects: 339 patients, both male and female, with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, resident in the Cambridge health district.

Setting: Addenbrooke's Hospital NHS Trust Outpatient Centre.

Main outcome measure: Health status was measured by blood tests (C-reactive protein, albumin and haemoglobin) throughout the year, symptom indices, number of clinic attendances, admissions to hospital and length of stay. Quality of life was measured via a postal questionnaire.

Results: Hospital visits were reduced from 1377 to 853 (38% reduction) and in-patient length of stay measured in bed-days from 516 to 417 (19% reduction). The number of patients in remission increased from 63 to 69%. Patient satisfaction improved in key areas, in particular, access to information on IBD and advice on avoidance of illness and maintaining health. Of a total of 251 calls to the telephone helpline, only 19 patients were referred for a medical opinion and five patients required hospital admission.

Conclusion: The IBD nurse specialist is a valuable and cost-effective member of the gastroenterology team.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / nursing*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Audit
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Specialties, Nursing* / economics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome