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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Feb;17(2):614-20. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21314.

The role of self-efficacy in inflammatory bowel disease management: preliminary validation of a disease-specific measure.

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Center for Psychosocial Research in Gastroenterology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.



Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) require self-management skills that may be influenced by self-efficacy (SE). Self-efficacy represents an individual's perception of his or her ability to organize and execute the behaviors necessary to manage disease. The goal of this study was to develop a valid and reliable measure of IBD-specific SE that can be used in clinical and research contexts.


One hundred and twenty-two adults with a verified IBD diagnosis participated in the study. Data were pooled from 2 sources: patients from an outpatient university gastroenterology clinic (n=42) and a sample of online respondents (n=80). All participants (N=122) completed the IBD Self-Efficacy Scale (IBD-SES) and the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire. Additionally, online participants completed the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, whereas those in the clinic sample completed the Perceived Health Competence Scale, the Perceived Stress Questionnaire, and the Short Form Version 2 Health Survey.


The IBD-SES was initially constructed to identify 4 distinct theoretical domains of self-efficacy: (1) managing stress and emotions, (2) managing medical care, (3) managing symptoms and disease, and (4) maintaining remission. The 29-item IBD-SES has high internal consistency (r=0.96), high test-retest reliability (r=0.90), and demonstrates strong construct and concurrent validity with established measures.


The IBD-SES is a critical first step toward addressing an important psychological construct that could influence treatment outcomes in IBD.

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