The psychosocial burden of inflammatory bowel disease in adolescents and young adults
This study examined the psychosocial burden of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in young people aged 15‐25 years attending a tertiary specialist health centre for adolescents and young adults in Brisbane.
Young people with IBD provided demographic information and psychosocial data via a cross‐sectional self‐report survey. Psychosocial data included the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K‐10), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS‐10), Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Brief IPQ), World Health Organisation Wellbeing Index (WHO‐5), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), Short Quality of Life Questionnaire for IBD (SIBDQ), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), Connor Davidson Resilience Scale 2 (CD‐RISC2), and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC).
Surveys were collected from 51 young people with IBD and compared with surveys from 210 young people with juvenile rheumatic disease (n=31), phenylketonuria (n=21), cystic fibrosis (n=33), renal transplants (n=14), and craniomaxillofacial conditions (n=111). On the psychosocial domains, 41% of young people with IBD had poor wellbeing and 37% were at risk of depression. When assessed against the comparison group, young people with IBD reported higher depressive symptoms (p=0.04), worse illness perceptions (p<0.01), and lower internal locus of control (p<0.01).
Early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychosocial comorbidities within integrated pathways of care is crucial in adolescents and young adults with IBD and likely to improve the course of IBD and their overall health and wellbeing. Interventions aimed at enhancing self‐efficacy and increasing public awareness are also likely to be helpful.