Relationship between disease severity and quality of life and assessment of health care utilization and cost for ulcerative colitis in Australia: a cross-sectional, observational study

J Crohns Colitis. 2014 Jul;8(7):598-606. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2013.11.017. Epub 2013 Dec 15.


Background & aims: The burden of ulcerative colitis (UC) in relation to disease severity is not well documented. This study quantitatively evaluated the relationship between disease activity and quality of life (QoL), as well as health care utilization, cost, and work-related impairment associated with UC in an Australian population.

Methods: A cross-sectional, noninterventional, observational study was performed in patients with a wide range of disease severity recruited during routine specialist consultations. Evaluations included the Assessment of Quality of Life-8-dimension (AQoL-8D), EuroQol 5-dimension, 5-level (EQ-5D-5L), the disease-specific Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ), and the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) instrument. The 3-item Partial Mayo Score was used to assess disease severity. Health care resource utilization was assessed by chart review and patient questionnaires.

Results: In 175 patients, mean (SD) AQoL-8D and EQ-5D-5L scores were greater for patients in remission (0.80 [0.19] and 0.81 [0.18], respectively) than for patients with active disease (0.70 [0.20] and 0.72 [0.19], respectively, both Ps<0.001). IBDQ correlated with both AQoL-8D (r=0.73; P<0.0001) and EQ-5D-5L (0.69; P<0.0001). Mean 3-month UC-related health care cost per patient was AUD $2914 (SD=$3447 [mean for patients in remission=$1970; mild disease=$3736; moderate/severe disease=$4162]). Patients in remission had the least work and activity impairment.

Conclusions: More severe UC disease was associated with poorer QoL. Substantial health care utilization, costs, and work productivity impairments were found in this sample of patients with UC. Moreover, greater disease activity was associated with greater health care costs and impairment in work productivity and daily activities.

Keywords: Disease severity; Health care utilization; Quality of life; Ulcerative colitis; Utility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / economics*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Costs
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Services / economics
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Capacity Evaluation
  • Young Adult