Introduction Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a complex condition affecting many young women of child bearing age. Knowledge of IBD and pregnancy related issues is key to enable patients to make informed decisions. This study aims to ascertain knowledge and factors influencing knowledge using the validated Crohn’s and Colitis Pregnancy Knowledge Score (CCPKnow) in British women with IBD.
Methods Approximately 4300 female members of Crohn’s and Colitis UK, aged between 18–45 years were sent an online questionnaire via email. Data collection included patient demographics, education, employment, marital status, and disease characteristics. Disease related pregnancy knowledge was recorded using CCPKnow.
Results A total of 1324 women completed the survey (response rate 31%) with a mean age of 33 years. Of these 776 (59%) suffered from Crohn’s disease (CD), 496 (38%) from ulcerative colitis (UC) and 52 (4%) from IBD-U. CCPknow scores were poor (0–7) in 50.8%, adequate (8–10) in 23.6%, good (11–13) in 17.7% and very good (≥14) in 7.8%. Higher CCPKnow scores were associated with higher educational achievement (masters/PHD 8.67 vs secondary school 5.99, p < 0.001), working (full time employment 7.18 vs unemployed 6.12, p = 0.03) and marital status (long-term relationship 7.60 vs single 6.26, p < 0.001). Patients with CD (7.51 vs UC 6.97; p = 0.026) and those with more severe disease had better knowledge (hospital admission 7.59 vs none 6.66, p < 0.001; surgery 7.71vs none 7.12, p = 0.018; current biological therapy 8.30 vs none 7.05, p < 0.001). Speaking to health care professionals was also associated with better CCPKnow scores (Gastroenterologist 9.18 vs no 6.25, p < 0.001), (GP 8.44 vs no 6.98, p < 0.001), (Specialist IBD nurse 9.27 vs 6.83, p < 0.001). Ethnicity and same sex relationships had no influence on CCPKnow scores.
Conclusion In this large study of British women with IBD knowledge was poor in over half of patients. Patients with CD and higher disease burden had better knowledge but education, employment and being in a relationship also had a positive influence on CCPKnow score. Speaking with health care professionals about pregnancy was identified as a modifiable factor associated with better knowledge. This study illustrates the importance of disease related education for female patients with IBD and highlights that health professionals, of any vocation, should seek opportunities to educate patients about pregnancy and IBD early in their disease course.
Disclosure of Interest I. Carbery: None Declared, C. Selinger Grant/research support from: Abbvie, Warner Chilcott, Consultant for: Abbvie, Warner Chilcott, Dr Falk, Takeda, Speaker bureau with: Abbvie, Warner Chilcott, MSD, Takeda