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Dig Dis. 1999;17(4):208-18.

Impact of inflammatory bowel disease on health-related quality of life.

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Digestive System Research Unit, Unitat de Malaltia Inflamatoria Intestinal, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.


Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has a recognized importance to evaluate, manage and follow patients. Different types of instruments for measuring HRQOL have recently been introduced to evaluate HRQOL in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Most questionnaires suggest that inflammatory bowel disease has a significant impact in HRQOL. It seems that ulcerative colitis has less profound effects on HRQOL than Crohn's disease and that some differences in HRQOL status are related to some factors such as the severity of the disease. When patients express their concerns, most important worries are related to surgery. Effective medical treatment appears to improve HRQOL. Effects of surgery on HRQOL can probably be different depending on the type of surgical technique and if it is curative or not. Recent studies suggest that inflammatory bowel disease not only impacts on patient's HRQOL but also on their caregivers. Features such as the impact on HRQOL of different disease variables, such as complications or patient personality, the role of medical or surgical treatments on different dimensions of HRQOL, the cost-utility evaluation of therapy are some of the fields that will probably focus the protagonism in the next years.

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