Impacts of perianal disease and faecal incontinence on quality of life and employment in 1092 patients with inflammatory bowel disease

P. F. Vollebregt, A. A. van Bodegraven, T. M. L. Markus-de Kwaadsteniet, D. van der Horst, R. J. F. Felt-Bersma

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Background: Patient reported outcomes regarding perianal disease and faecal incontinence in the community-based inflammatory bowel disease population are poorly described. Aims: To determine the impacts of perianal disease and faecal incontinence on quality of life and employment in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, a comprehensive survey was sent out to members of the Dutch National Crohn's and Colitis patient organisation. Validated questionnaires regarding faecal incontinence and active perianal disease were used to estimate its prevalence's. The effect on the quality of life (36-Item Short Form Survey) and on employment status (multivariate binary regression analysis) was assessed in this inflammatory bowel disease population. Results: A total number of 1092 returned questionnaires (58% responders) were used for analysis; 750 respondents (69%) were female; mean age was 47 years (IQR 35-59). In 621 patients (57%) Crohn's disease, in 422 (39%) ulcerative colitis and in 49 (4%) patients unclassifiable inflammatory bowel disease was self-reported. The 114 patients (10%) with a stoma were excluded for continence related analyses. Faecal incontinence was reported in 555 patients (57%), was comparable between the different inflammatory bowel disease diagnoses and affected all 36-Item Short Form Survey subscales adversely (incontinence vs continence: Physical functioning 75 vs 84, P < 0.0001; Limitations due to physical health 49 vs 63, P < 0.0001; Limitations due to emotional problems 49 vs 64, P < 0.0001; Energy/fatigue 47 vs 53, P < 0.0001; Emotional well-being 71 vs 74, P = 0.005; Social functioning 63 vs 73, P < 0.0001; Pain 66 vs 75, P < 0.0001; General health 41 vs 48, P < 0.0001). Active perianal disease was reported in 39% Crohn's disease, 16% ulcerative colitis (84% fissures) and 20% unclassifiable inflammatory bowel disease patients. Faecal incontinence was more common in patients with perianal disease (67% vs 53%, P = 0.003). When correcting for age, disease duration, inflammatory bowel disease-related surgery and faecal incontinence, active perianal disease was independently affecting employment (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.50–0.91; P = 0.01). Conclusions: Faecal incontinence and perianal disease are quality of life determining factors. Faecal incontinence needs more attention among clinicians, and development of new (drug) therapies needs to be focussed on perianal disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1260
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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