Low prevalence of disability among patients with inflammatory bowel diseases a decade after diagnosis

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Graff, Lesley
Walker, John
Lix, Lisa
Targownik, Laura
Bernstein, Charles
Israeli, Eran
Clara, Ian
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Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Abstract BACKGROUND & AIMS: Disability is defined by chronic limitations that preclude the ability to engage in usual daily activities. Studies of disability in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have focused on work and employment, with few descriptions of more general disability among multiple domains. We examined disability and the factors associated with it a decade after diagnosis in a population-based cohort of IBD patients. METHODS: We interviewed 125 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and 119 with ulcerative colitis (UC) from the population-based Manitoba IBD Cohort study a median of 12.3 years after diagnosis. Disability was assessed by using 2 validated measures. Disease activity was assessed semiannually, and long-term activity was defined as symptoms of active IBD at more than 65% of semiannual assessments. RESULTS: Mean levels of disability were significantly higher among patients with CD than those with UC (P < .01). On the basis of the Work and Social Adjustment Scale, rates of disability were 19% among patients with CD vs 11% among those with UC (P < .05). Results from the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule v.2 and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale correlated (r = 0.58 for patients with CD and 0.60 for those with UC; P < .01). Disability was associated with reduced quality of life. Long-term active disease and a lifetime history of major depression were associated with disability, whereas history of IBD-related surgeries or hospitalizations was not. CONCLUSIONS: A minority of patients with IBD have significant disability after a decade of disease, although a higher proportion of patients with CD are disabled than those with UC. Long-term active disease and psychological factors are important predictors of disability. Depression should be treated as aggressively as the IBD itself.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Disability, prevalence