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The Luebeck interview for psychosocial screening in patients with inflammatory bowel disease



Background: Psychosocial factors play an important role in the course of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, a simple, valid psychosocial screening instrument that is suitable for short patient-physician contacts does not exist. Therefore, the Luebeck semistructured Interview for Psychosocial Screening was developed as a rating tool for psychosocial stress in IBD patients (LIPS-IBD).

Method: The entire interview requires approximately 10 minutes. Interrater reliability was tested. Depression, anxiety, social support, impact of the disease, global level of psychosocial stress, and demand for psychosocial support were rated in 92 patients with IBD on 5 point Likert scales. Patients from the in- and out-patient clinic for gastroenterology were included. In addition, patients filled out self-report questionnaires regarding depression, anxiety, social support, and impact of the disease. Indices of disease activity (Colitis Activity Index, Crohn's Disease Activity Index) were recorded.

Results: Both patients and physicians found the interview feasible. Reliability was good, with interrater reliability ranging from .76 to .94. Convergence with self-report instruments was also high (r = .5–.6). Ratings of depression and impact of the disease were correlated with indices of disease activity.

Discussion: LIPS helps to identify patients with high levels of psychosocial stress and provide them with more detailed psychologic assessments. It was found to be a suitable instrument for daily clinical routine. It is potentially a valuable screening tool to obtain reliable, valid, and useful information in daily practice in IBD treatment settings.

(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007;13:33–41)