Objective All treatment in Crohn's disease, although palliative, aims at restoring full health. The objective of this study was to compare health-related quality of life and psychosocial conditions in patients with Crohn's proctocolitis with a general population.
Patients and methods One hundred and twenty-seven patients with Crohn's proctocolitis (median age 44 years, 44.1% men) were compared with 266 controls (median age 45 years, 50.7% men). A questionnaire consisting of the Short Form-36 (SF-36), the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB) and a visual analogue scale (VAS) evaluating general health as well as questions regarding psychosocial conditions was used. Disease activity was evaluated by Best's modification of the classical Crohn's Disease Activity Index.
Results Patients in remission had a health related quality of life similar to controls according to the SF-36 apart from general health where scores were lower (P < 0.01). Patients with active disease scored lower in all aspects of the SF-36 (P < 0.001 or P < 0.0001) as well as the PGWB (P < 0.0001). In a model for multiple regression including age, gender, concomitant small bowel disease, permanent stoma, previous colonic surgery, disease activity, duration, and aggressiveness, disease activity was the only variable negatively predicting all 8 domains of the SF-36 in the patient group (P < 0.001). The mean annual sick-leave for patients and controls were 33.9 and 9.5 days (P < 0.0001), respectively. Sixty-eight percent of the patients and 78.4% of the controls (P = 0.04) were married or cohabited, 67.7% and 78.0% (P = 0.04), respectively, had children.
Conclusion The health related quality of life for patients with Crohn's proctocolitis in remission does not differ from the general population. The disease has, however, a negative impact on parenthood, family life and professional performance.
2003. Vol. 5, no 1, 56-62 p.