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Symptom burden: A forgotten area of measurement in inflammatory bowel disease

Authors

  • Dawn Farrell BSc Dip Nursing Management RGN,

    Lecturer, Corresponding author
    • Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
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  • Eileen Savage PhD MEd BNS RCN RGN

    Professor
    1. Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
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Correspondence: Dawn Farrell, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, College Road, Cork, Ireland. Email: d.farrell@ucc.ie

Abstract

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) collectively known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract. Periods of active and inactive disease are common along the trajectory of this illness. A range of symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhoea and abdominal pain are experienced and are often very debilitating in nature resulting in significance interference in daily life. Despite this, to date, research in the area of symptoms remains an underexplored topic. This paper aims to discuss current approaches to symptom assessment in IBD and the potential to measure symptom burden in further research, in order to gain a greater understanding into the experiences of individuals with IBD.

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