Quality of Life in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of English and Canadian Children

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Any disease and its treatment has an important impact on health-related quality of life for affected individuals. There have been few previous studies on the quality of life for children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


A cross-cultural comparison was performed to determine whether the concerns of children with IBD in the United Kingdom are ranked similarly to those of children with IBD in Canada. An item reduction questionnaire, developed from interviews with Canadian children with IBD, was scored by 53 British children with IBD for importance and frequency, as a questionnaire had been scored previously by 117 Canadian children.


There was a significant correlation between the mean scores (r = 0.831, P < 0.001) and ranks (r = 0.801, P < 0.001) for the 96 questions, and 43 of the 50 highest-ranking concerns corresponded for both populations. Confidence interval analysis showed a significant difference between the mean values for 21 of the 96 items; 20 of these 21 were ranked higher in the United Kingdom than they had been in Canada, suggesting that the frequency and/or degree of concern was greater for the British children with IBD.


Health-related concerns of British children with Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis correlate closely with those of Canadian children with those diseases. Further studies are needed to determine the sensitivity of individual questions, the most appropriate wording of these questions, and the optimal length for a proposed instrument to assess quality of life in children with IBD.

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