Background: The present study aimed at assessing whether psychological factors, specifically psychopathology and personality, together with clinical and sociodemographic factors, were independent predictors of quality of life (QoL) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Methods: A cohort of 147 outpatients with IBD was enrolled in the study. Clinical and sociodemographic variables were recorded. QoL was assessed by the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ); personality traits were assessed by means of the Temperament and Character Inventory; and psychopathology was evaluated by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. To explore the relation of variables on the QoL, univariate analyses were performed for each variable. Factors statistically significant at these analyses were included in a multiple linear regression analysis with dimensional and global IBDQ scores as dependent variables.
Results: Some clinical and psychological factors were related with QoL, but regression analysis showed that disease activity and psychological distress were the strongest predictors of QoL impairment. Personality traits do not play a significant role in QoL.
Conclusions: The presence of psychological distress in IBD patients contributes to poor QoL, along with IBD clinical activity. Controlling and minimizing the symptoms of the disease, along with identification and treatment of psychopathology, should become integral aspects of IBD care to improve QoL of these patients.
(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2008)