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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Jan;45(1):63-74. doi: 10.1111/apt.13831. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

The relationship between different information sources and disease-related patient knowledge and anxiety in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK.
Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.



Patient education forms a cornerstone of management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Internet has opened new avenues for information gathering.


To determine the relationship between different information sources and patient knowledge and anxiety in patients with IBD.


The use of information sources in patients with IBD was examined via questionnaire. Anxiety was assessed with the hospital anxiety and depression scale and disease-related patient knowledge with the Crohn's and colitis knowledge score questionnaires. Associations between these outcomes and demographics, disease-related factors, and use of different information sources were analysed using linear regression analysis.


Of 307 patients (165 Crohn's disease, 142 ulcerative colitis) 60.6% were female. Participants used the hospital IBD team (82.3%), official leaflets (59.5%), and official websites (53.5%) most frequently in contrast to alternative health websites (9%). University education (P < 0.001), use of immunosuppressants (P = 0.025), Crohn's and Colitis UK membership (P = 0.001), frequent use of the hospital IBD team (P = 0.032), and frequent use of official information websites (P = 0.005) were associated with higher disease-related patient knowledge. Female sex (P = 0.004), clinically active disease (P < 0.001), frequent use of general practitioners (P = 0.014), alternative health websites (homoeopathy, nutritionists, etc.) (P = 0.004) and random links (P = 0.016) were independently associated with higher anxiety.


Different patient information sources are associated with better knowledge or worse anxiety levels. Face-to-face education and written information materials remain the first line of patient education. Patients should be guided towards official information websites and warned about the association between the use of alternative health websites or random links and anxiety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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