Inflammatory bowel disease negatively impacts household and family life

Emma Paulides, Demi Cornelissen, Annemarie C. de Vries, C. Janneke van der Woude*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has a major impact on different aspects of life of patients with IBD, but functioning in the home environment is under-reported in literature. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of IBD on household and/or family life.

Method: Adult patients with IBD from the outpatient clinic of the Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study between September and December 2020. A questionnaire was composed to measure the impact of IBD on functioning in the household and family life. In addition, the IBD Disability Index and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire were used. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression modelling.

Results: Of 308 invited patients, 229 patients were included (response rate 74%). Sixty-eight per cent of patients were diagnosed with Crohn's disease, 69% were female and median age was 38.0 years. Many patients reported difficulties with domestic activities (55.0%), leisure (53.9%), parenting (50.6%), sexual activities (48.4%) and interpersonal relationships (39.1%). Fatigue was associated with the experience of more severe difficulties in domestic activities (OR 16.160, 95% CI 6.053 to 43.141). Furthermore, 32.7% of patients felt that IBD influenced their desire to have children.

Conclusion: IBD has a markedly negative impact on household and/or family life in many patients. To optimise patient care, household and family related difficulties need to be considered in a holistic treatment approach.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalFrontline gastroenterology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26-Nov-2021


  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • WORK
  • IBD

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