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Long-term care management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Quality of life in adults with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – addressing unmet needs in their care in relation to dietetics and mental health

What we are doing?

A systematic literature review to gain an up-to-date picture on the quality of life of IBD patients and the importance of the multidisciplinary approach.

An IBD patient survey to better understand how their IBD and dietary behaviours affect their quality of life, and how clinicians can provide support.

A separate survey for the IBD multidisciplinary team will explore their perspective, the challenges of delivering a biopsychosocial approach, and to question what can feasibly be implemented to deliver dietetic and mental health support. Follow-up semi-structured interviews will include both patients and clinicians to expand on survey responses and hear their experiences.  

Why we are doing it?

IBD patients often associate dietary triggers with symptoms and relapse of the disease, yet it is rarely acknowledged and included in treatment plans. Dietary manipulation and food avoidance can lead to malnutrition, poor bone health, a worsened disease course and a reduced quality of life.  

Only 7% of IBD services in the UK have a dietitian and 2% a psychologist. Patients have expressed interest in better dietetic care and access to psychological support. This will ensure patient goals and psychological wellbeing is considered and valued.  

What the benefits will be and to whom?

A holistic approach to IBD patient care will improve patient satisfaction, medication compliance, response to treatments and their overall quality of life. Specifically addressing unmet needs in their care, primarily in dietetics and mental health, will promote personalised self-management strategies that can lead to a reduction in flare-ups of the disease and reduce hospital admissions, drug costs, associated health complications and consequent NHS input. Multidisciplinary teams will also benefit through better integration of services, providing smoother and better-quality care to patients and more efficient use of healthcare resources.  

Who we are working with?

We are working with the leading Crohn’s and Colitis charity organisation, Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK) to assist in the recruitment of a steering group for the research project as well as the recruitment of adult IBD patients and IBD multidisciplinary team members to participate in the survey and follow-up interviews.


Charlotte Playford, MPhil / PhD Student, University of Lincoln,