An Exploratory Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Psychosocial Factors Affecting Health-Related Quality of Life

Med Sci (Basel). 2019 Jan 25;7(2):18. doi: 10.3390/medsci7020018.


Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multidimensional concept that assesses an individual's personal satisfaction with his/her daily life while coping with a medical condition and/or its consequent therapy. This study aims to determine the psychosocial needs most commonly affected among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Psychosocial needs which were pertinent to the IBD community were assessed using a questionnaire designed by the gastrointestinal team at the Port of Spain General Hospital, Trinidad after getting ethical approval. The chi-squared test was used to assess for statistically significant associations. Of the total 115 participants who completed the survey, a majority of 73 (63%) were females and 70 (61%) were in the 18 to 40-year age group. A majority of 66 (57%) were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and 66 (57%) were on non-biologic drug therapy. Diet was the need most prevailingly affected, with 87% of participants indicating such. Ability to maintain good hygiene was the need least affected, with 32% of participants identifying concern. We found a significant association between participant's illness perception (IP) and each of the ten psychosocial variables. The participants' IP was in turn strongly associated with the ability to cope with the illness while not being associated with the demographic or clinical details of the participants. The results can be used to improve the quality of care delivered to patients living with IBD.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; health-related quality of life; illness perception; inflammatory bowel diseases; psychosocial factors; ulcerative colitis.