Introduction Over the last 20 years, health related quality of life (HRQoL) has developed into a scientific index of subjective health status in the management of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), with the majority of the available data to come from Northern Europe. But limited data are available from Southern Europe. Aim of our study was to characterise the HRQoL in patients with IBD from Central Greece and the investigation of sociodemographic factors and disease characteristics that affect their HRQoL in order to create a bank of data for future comparative studies.
Methods The population of the study consisted of 69 IBD patients who were recruited from the IBD referral centre for Central Greece. Data collection included the usage of the Greek version of IBDQ and a card with the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the population. Disease activity was assessed by Harvey-Bradshaw activity index for CD and by Simple Colitis Activity Index for UC. The impact of each characteristic in HRQoL was studied with one and two way ANOVA.
Results 43% of the patients were suffering from UC and 57% from CD. The majority were male (50.7%) but a prevalence of women was noticed in the CD group. 80% of patients were <60 yrs. 60% of the patients with UC and 22.8% with CD were in remission. No significant HRQoL differences were found between UC and CD patients. But, there was a tendency of the CD patients to have higher IBDQ scores and better emotional functioning. ANOVA analysis identified disease activity and symptom's to explain variations in HRQoL. No significant impact found for sex, educational level, employment and marital status. In contrast, young age (20–40 years) in the CD group had negative impact on their social functioning.
Conclusion HRQoL did not differ significantly between patients with CD and UC But, there was a tendency of the CD patients to score higher in the IBDQ compared to the UC group which can be justified by the beneficial effect of biologic agents in the management of CD. Young age in CD patients had negative impact on their social functioning which indicates the need for developing supportive networks similar to those of Northern Europe in the South. Finally, disease activity and symptom's severity were the only factors that affect HRQoL in our population.
Competing interests None declared.
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