Physical activity, stress, disease activity, and quality of life in adults with Crohn disease

Gastroenterol Nurs. May-Jun 2009;32(3):188-95. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e3181a85d4b.


Physical activity and stress reduction are recognized strategies for chronic disease management. They are recommended for people with a variety of diseases; however, little attention has been paid to the effects of regular physical activity and stress reduction in people with Crohn disease (CD). The aim of this pilot study was to examine the relationship that both physical activity and stress levels have with disease activity (a subscale of a quality of life [QOL] measure). A 2-pronged approach to sampling, using an online Crohn support forum and snowball sampling, was implemented over a period of 3 months to conduct this survey. Seventeen adults with CD completed 3 questionnaires measuring physical activity, stress levels, disease activity, and QOL. Although no significant correlations were found for disease activity with stress or physical activity, significant relationships were revealed for QOL with both stress and physical activity. The direct relationship between physical activity and QOL and the inverse relationship between stress and QOL are noteworthy for persons with CD, as well as their healthcare providers. Suggestions for important research design considerations are presented, along with future research needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis*
  • Crohn Disease / psychology*
  • Crohn Disease / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult