Self-management in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: A clinical report of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2013 Aug;57(2):250-7. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182999b21.


This clinical report aims to review key self-management and adherence issues in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to provide recommendations for health care providers regarding evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches to promote optimal self-management. Self-management difficulties in the form of nonadherence to treatment regimens are common in pediatric IBD and are influenced by various disease-related, individual, family, and health professional relationship factors. To promote adaptive self-management, health care providers are encouraged to adopt a long-term preventive orientation, which includes routine screening of barriers to self-management and nonadherence in the context of routine clinic appointments. The use of a multimethod approach to assessment that incorporates objective measures (eg, pill counts or bioassays) may be particularly advantageous. Individualized treatment approaches that incorporate evidence-based practices, such as providing written treatment plans and offering opportunities to practice and receive feedback on skills, may help to ameliorate minor self-management concerns; however, more severe or chronic self-management problems may require a referral for behavioral health intervention. Additional research to broaden our understanding of self-management in domains beyond medication adherence and to evaluate the effect of clinic-based interventions is imperative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Pediatrics
  • Self Care*