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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep




Health-Related Quality of Life in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: A Narrative Review.



Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoimmune condition that can have a wide range of symptoms among pediatric patients. Although clinical symptoms like hematochezia, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are commonly addressed, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is often overlooked in patients with IBD and pediatric patients with chronic disease in general. Examining HRQOL can help improve patient outcomes, but it has been studied sparingly. In this review, we aim to compare HRQOL between pediatric patients suffering from IBD and healthy children, as well as those suffering from other illnesses. We searched through peer-reviewed primary literature related to IBD and HRQOL and selected 10 articles from the PubMed database to be reviewed. Our inclusion criteria included articles published after the year 2000 in English, primary studies, and those that corresponded to the aim of this review. Case reports and secondary and tertiary articles were excluded from our review. We found that patients with IBD reported worse HRQOL in terms of overall health and in various subdomains, including physical health and fatigue, compared to their healthy counterparts. However, children with IBD demonstrated a comparable HRQOL with children suffering from functional abdominal pain (FAP) and obesity. Additionally, children with IBD displayed a greater HRQOL than pediatric patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic constipation. In addressing the aim of this review, we found that children with IBD had a lower HRQOL when compared to healthy children, but a comparable or greater HRQOL than other sick children. Some factors associated with a reduced HRQOL include disease activity, age, fatigue, gender, psychological variables, and associated symptoms. Going forward, HRQOL should be considered by practitioners when caring for pediatric IBD patients in a clinical setting as it can help improve patient care. More studies need to be conducted to further explore HRQOL in pediatric patients. This can help implement early psychosocial interventions in children to reduce the disease burden.