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Title: Quality of life and coexisting anxiety-depressive disorders in patients with inflammatory bowel disease during relapse and a further 11 months observation

Agnieszka Meder, Maciej Świątkowski, Grzegorz Meder, Jarosław Koza
Original articles
Polish Gastroenterology
Start page:
Final page:
health-related quality of life, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, anxiety-depressive disorders

Introduction: Quality of life depends on a range of health consequences of the disease and its treatment. The problem is particularly relevant in case of chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Acute flare of the disease is a well documented factor affecting the quality of life. The increased incidence of co-occurrence of mental disorders in IBD is also emphasized. Aim of the study: The main purpose of this study was to assess the quality of life of patients with IBD during relapse and a further 11-month observation. Moreover, evaluation of coexisting anxiety-depressive disorders and correlation of these disturbances with the quality of life of patients was planned. Material and methods: The study was conducted in 2004-2007 in 41 patients diagnosed with IBD. The study was initiated during an acute relapse, a further visit took place after a month, and again every two months for a total period of 11 months. At each visit the quality of life and level of anxiety and depression and disease activity were assessed. Collected data was statistically analyzed. Results: The applied treatment allowed most patients to obtain remission of the disease and increase their quality of life. There were no statistically significant differences in quality of life between patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. During exacerbation, 63% of patients had depressive disorders and 78% anxiety disorders. From the 3rd month of the observation, the proportion of patients with depressive disorders ranged from 32 to 37%, and anxiety disorders from 44 to 54%. A negative correlation between the quality of life of patients with IBD and the level of anxiety and depression was found. A lower quality of life of women compared with men in the first 3 months of observation was found. Anxiety-depressive disorders were also more increased in women, statistically significant differences were found in the planned visits by up to 9th month of observation. Conclusions: A remission or reduction of disease activity significantly improves quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Improvement of mental health related to the reduction in the level of anxiety-depressive disorders can enhance the quality of life in patients with IBD. Particular attention of a specialist gastroenterologist should be paid to women suffering from IBD, mainly due to lower quality of life during exacerbation and frequent, prolonged and more severe anxiety-depressive disorders.