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Concerns of patients with inflammatory bowel disease: results from a clinical population

American Journal of Gastroenterology volume 96, pages 18161821 (2001) | Download Citation




The impact of chronic illness is influenced not just by physical symptoms but also by psychosocial factors. The aim of this study was to determine the concerns of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients in a clinical sample, if concerns differ between patients from varied clinical and demographic variables, and if concerns influence well-being beyond the influence of physical symptoms.


Subjects (n = 259) completed a validated measure of concerns specific to IBD and provided demographic and disease-related information.


The most intense concerns involved both physical (e.g., energy level) and psychosocial issues (e.g., achieving full potential). There were numerous differences in disease concerns based on ability to work but none based on disease duration. Factor analysis yielded three indices: body image and interpersonal concerns, general physical impact, and disease stigma. Age and education only affected certain concern indices in subgroups of patients. Greater concerns negatively influenced well-being beyond the influence of physical symptoms.


Psychosocial factors, in addition to physical symptoms, play an important role on the impact of illness in patients with IBD.

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We thank Ms. Josee Casati for help with the data collection and Drs. Noreen Stuckless and William Lancee for statistical advice. We also thank Dr. Douglas A. Drossman, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, for his invaluable comments on the manuscript, as well has his timely provision of the RFIPC, without which this study would not have been possible. Financial assistance was provided by the Departments of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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  1. Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • Elizabeth C de Rooy
    • , Brenda B Toner
    •  & Robert G Maunder
  2. Women's Mental Health Programme, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • Elizabeth C de Rooy
    •  & Brenda B Toner
  3. Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • Gordon R Greenberg
    • , David Baron
    •  & A Hillary Steinhart
  4. Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • Robin McLeod
    •  & Zane Cohen


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Correspondence to Brenda B Toner.

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