IBD-related work disability in the community: Prevalence, severity and predictive factors. A cross-sectional study

Alexis Ramos, Xavier Calvet, Beatriz Sicilia, Mercedes Vergara, Ariadna Figuerola, Jaume Motos, Adoración Sastre, Albert Villoria, Fernando Gomollón

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© Author(s) 2015. Background and aims: Data on the prevalence of work disability in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are heterogeneous. As most studies have been performed in selected, often severe, IBD patients, the true prevalence of disability in the community remains controversial. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the prevalence and severity of disability and its predictive factors in a community-based IBD population. Patients and methods: Patients recorded in the community-based IBD register at the Hospital Universitario de Burgos were contacted. After informed consent they completed a set of questionnaires including demographic, clinical, disability and quality of life data. The statistical study was performed using SPSS 21. Results: A total of 293 patients were included - 151 Crohn’s disease (CD), 142 ulcerative colitis (UC), 137 female, mean age: 45 ± 11 years, mean time since diagnosis: 10.6 ± 11 years. Twelve patients (4.1%) had a work-disability pension. In addition, 93 (32%) of all patients had an officially recognized disability degree, which was generally moderate (n = 73, 25%) or severe (N = 16, 5%). Age, time since IBD diagnosis, CD, perianal disease, incontinence, active disease, the need for anti-TNF or psychological treatment, previous surgeries and the number of diagnostic tests and medical visits in the previous year were predictors of disability. Major predictors of qualifying for a disability pension were age, IBD activity, incontinence, need for biological drugs and ostomy. Conclusion: Mild to moderate work disability is frequent in IBD. However, only a minority of patients develop severe disability qualifying them for a pension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Disability
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis


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