The assessment of health-related quality of life may be an adjunct to understanding the chronic illness experience and its effects on health outcomes. In this study, we evaluated health-related quality of life of 150 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (63 ulcerative colitis, 87 Crohn's disease). We used a standardized measure, the Sickness Impact Profile, and a questionnaire we developed that elicits and prioritizes the disease-related worries and concerns of patients with IBD. Our preliminary data indicate that: (1) IBD patients experience moderate functional impairment more in the social and psychological than in the physical dimensions; (2) Crohn's disease patients report psychosocial dysfunction to a greater degree than ulcerative colitis patients; (3) IBD patients report greatest concerns about having surgery, degree of energy, and body image issues such as having an ostomy bag; and (4) functional status and patient concerns correlate better with other measures of health status and previous health care utilization than the physician's rating of disease activity. We believe that questionnaires measuring health-related quality of life (HRQOL) can be used in research and patient care to extend the clinical assessment of patients with IBD. Further work is needed to determine the role of HRQOL relative to disease activity and other physician-based assessments in predicting health outcomes.
inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis Crohn's disease health status quality of life disease concerns functional status health-related quality of life psychosocial