A qualitative study of youth living with Crohn disease

Gastroenterol Nurs. 2008 May-Jun;31(3):224-30; quiz 231-2. doi: 10.1097/01.SGA.0000324114.01651.65.


Little is known about what it is like to live in adolescence with a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. This article reports the findings of a small qualitative study that explored the experience of four New Zealand youth aged between 16 and 21 years, who had been recently diagnosed with Crohn disease. Semistructured interviews focused on discovering the youth' thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of living with this condition. Analysis of the transcribed data is presented thematically. The findings reveal stress as integral to living with Crohn disease. They illuminate the paradoxical relationship between fear and hope and provide insight into what helps and what hinders young people's ability to cope with the disease and its treatments. Collectively, these three themes describe the ways in which the lives of young adults are drastically and almost irreparably changed by Crohn disease. The findings contribute to the "promoting wellness" literature and will inform those who support the increasing number of young people living and coping with a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Crohn Disease / prevention & control
  • Crohn Disease / psychology*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morale
  • New Zealand
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires