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Keywords:

  • inflammatory bowel disease;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • psychosocial;
  • psychotherapy;
  • need

Abstract

Background: Psychological distress is frequent in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Whether there is a need for psychological interventions is unknown. This study investigated the quantity and quality of the need for psychological interventions in IBD as compared to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: In all, 302 patients with IBD and 109 patients with RA answered the ADAPT questionnaire, assessing the need for psychosomatic support (physicians support) and for psychotherapy, the hospital anxiety and depression scale, the SF-36, a questionnaire on social support (SOZU-K22), and the Rating Form of IBD Patient Concerns (IBD patients only). Detailed biomedical data were also assessed.

Results: Ninety-three patients with IBD (31%) expressed a need for psychological intervention compared to 14 patients with RA (13%; P < 0.001). Stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that anxiety (odds ratio [OR] 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.2-6.0; P < 0.001), age ≤44 years (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.5-4.3; P < 0.001) and impaired social support (SOZU-K22 <4.20) (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2-3.3; P = 0.009) accounted for this difference. In IBD the need for psychosomatic (physicians) support was associated with worries and concerns about IBD and the need for psychotherapy was associated with worries and concerns about IBD, anxiety, impaired “social functioning” (SF-36), and short disease duration.

Conclusions: Patients with IBD express a higher need for psychological interventions than patients with RA due to greater psychosocial restrictions inherent in IBD. The need for psychological interventions was characterized by psychological factors, mainly worries about the disease and anxiety, rather than by medical variables.

(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2008)