Background: The prevalence of fatigue in IBD has been revealed to be between 40–80% . Furthermore, fatigue is a major concern among patients with IBD and some intervention studies have been accomplish. Fatigue is measured via self reported questionnaires.
Recently, the first IBD fatigue questionnaire: Inflammatory Bowel Disease Fatigue scale (IBD-F) was developed along with IBD patients in the UK .
The IBD-F comprises 35 questions. Five questions are measuring the severity of fatigue (score 0–20) and 30 questions are measuring the impact of fatigue (score 0–120).
All questions have a generic character and can be answered be everyone, regardless of IBD or not. If the IBD-F shall be used extensively in the field of IBD fatigue, normative values need to be available.
The aim of this study was to generate normative values for an electronic version of the IBD-F in a background population.
Methods: The IBD-F was translated and validated into Danish according to international guidelines.
An age- and gender-stratified random sample of 3460 Danes was drawn from the Danish Civil Registration System. The IBD-F was administered electronically to those from the sample who were registered to receive electronically correspondence with the authorities. Each participant received an individual link to the e-survey. In addition the participants were asked a few question concerning socio-demographics and morbidity.
Results: A total of 2990 (86%) citizens were contacted electronically. After a friendly reminder, 1925 (64%) citizens responded and 1905 had complete IBD-F data.
Both the severity of fatigue and the impact of fatigue was found significantly higher for females when compared to males (7.3 vs. 6.6; p<0.001) & (17.0 vs. 13.5; p<0.001).
Regardless of gender, most fatigue was found for citizens in the twenties and the thirties.
Mental co-morbidity increased the levels of fatigue more than physically co-morbidity. If both conditions were present the levels of were even higher.
Lower education was associated with higher levels of fatigue for both men and women.
Fatigue was significantly higher for those not being active on the labour market.
Conclusions: The levels of fatigue in the background population are higher for females and young citizens. Furthermore co-morbidity, low education and being “out of the labour market” are factors that need to be considered when measuring fatigue in IBD.
 van Langenberg DR, Gibson P, (2010), Fatigue in inflammatory bowel disease, Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 131–43
 Czuber-Dochan W, Norton C, Bassett P, Berliner B, Bredin F, Darvell M et al. (2014), Development and psychometric testing of inflammatory bowel disease fatigue (IBD-F) patient self assessment scale, J Crohns Colitis, 1398–1406