Impaired health-related quality of life in inflammatory bowel diseases: psychosocial impact and coping styles in a national German sample

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2001 Apr;36(4):375-82. doi: 10.1080/003655201300051171.


Background: The purpose of this study is to give a detailed survey of the disease-specific and generic quality of life (HRQOL) of adult patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Germany.

Methods: 1322 patients suffering from IBD were examined in a cross-sectional study. A questionnaire assessing disease-specific and generic quality of life, coping, and hopelessness was sent to members of the German Crohn/Colitis association.

Results: Compared to the general population, the generic HRQOL in IBD patients is significantly reduced. Active coping has a negative influence on patients' generic physical HRQOL during an active phase (beta = -0.31), while this association is not present in the case of patients in remission (beta = -0.02, interaction: P = 0.0003). Depressive coping is strongly and negatively associated with assessment of the physical (beta = -0.39, P < 0.0001) and mental (beta = -0.66, P < 0.0001) HRQOL. Disease-specific burdens are mainly reported in the physical dimension.

Conclusion: The pattern of psychosocial impact of disease in German IBD patients is largely congruent with the one observed in the USA and Canada, but shows some specific differences. The a priori unexpected finding that active coping was associated with poor HRQOL in active IBD status illustrates the importance of considering different determinants of HRQOL in terms of their mutual interaction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / psychology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / psychology
  • Crohn Disease / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires