Prevalence and Determinants of Job Stress in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Psychosocial factors have been shown to predict a poor disease course in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but whether this applies to job stress is currently unknown. We assessed the prevalence of job stress and its correlates in a large cohort of patients with IBD.


We included all adult, professionally active patients enrolled between 2006 and 2015 in the Swiss IBD Cohort. Job stress was measured through the self-report effort–reward imbalance ratio and overcommitment (OC) to work questionnaires. We used multiple linear regressions to assess association with sociodemographic, lifestyle, psychosocial, and disease-related factors.


Altogether 1656 patients completed the questionnaires (905 Crohn's disease and 751 ulcerative colitis/IBD unclassified). Only 91 (5.7%) of patients had an effort–reward imbalance ratio >1. Effort–reward imbalance and OC scores were higher in full-time versus part-time employees (coef = 0.050, P = 0.002; coef = 0.906, P < 0.001) and among those absent from the workplace in the previous 3 months (coef = 0.049, P = 0.010; coef = 1.062, P < 0.001). Higher OC scores were associated with sex (women vs. men: coef = 0.568, P = 0.014), being in a relationship (coef = 0.805, P = 0.001), higher level of occupation (director vs. trainee: coef = 1.447, P < 0.001), and extraintestinal manifestations (coef = 0.623, P = 0.005). Patients hospitalized in the previous 12 months had lower OC scores (coef = 0.560, P = 0.038).


The average level of job stress seems to be remarkably low in patients with IBD from Switzerland. The clinician should turn attention especially to women, full-time employees with a high level of education, and patients with extraintestinal manifestations to identify those with the most vulnerability to suffer from job stress.

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