Caregiver Burden in Adults With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Abstract

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that has a relapsing and remitting disease course. There is high degree of inpatient and outpatient health care utilization by IBD patients along with a great deal of psychosocial stress associated with the condition. Patients frequently rely on family, friends, and other informal caregivers to provide medical, instrumental, and emotional support. The role of caregiving for adult IBD patients can lead to significant caregiver burden. At present, there are limited data on the existence of caregiver burden in adult IBD patients. Moreover, there are no specific measures for evaluating caregiver burden and there are no interventions targeting caregiver burden in adults with IBD. This review outlines the limited available data on caregiver burden in IBD, explores caregiver burden in other chronic conditions, and proposes applications of these data for creating screening and assessment tools and interventions for caregiver burden in IBD.

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