Date Presented 03/31/2022

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that has been found to cause health issues, including chronic fatigue and pain. The findings of this study support the utilization of OT in the population with IBD to address physical and mental health. This expansion of care beyond pharmaceutical and surgical interventions has the potential to improve overall quality of life for the population with IBD.

Primary Author and Speaker: Karla Reese

Contributing Authors: F. Jeannine Everhart, Amy Wix

PURPOSE: Individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are experiencing quality of life issues such as pain, fatigue, sexual dissatisfaction, depression, and anxiety. Currently management of IBD primarily involves pharmaceutical and surgical interventions. The purpose of this study was to determine if individuals with IBD are experiencing functional deficits that can be addressed under the occupational therapy scope of practice and if there are quality of life differences between those with and without an ostomy.

DESIGN & METHOD: A cross-sectional quantitative study design was used to identify self-reported quality of life indicators experienced among individuals with IBD. Using Facebook groups to recruit participants, the Quality of Life Profile: Adult Version was used to examine quality of life indicators related to the constructs of being, belonging, and becoming. Quality of life scores were calculated from survey results and analyzed through descriptive statistics and a two-way ANOVA using SPSS v25.

RESULTS: 63 participants completed the Quality of Life Profile. Based on descriptive statistics, individuals with IBD are experiencing adequate quality of life. However, problems were identified in areas related to physical and mental health. Based on a two-way ANOVA, there is no significant difference between quality of life for people with IBD with and without an ostomy (F = 0.009, p > .05).

CONCLUSION: This study supports the inclusion of occupational therapy in the continuum of care for individuals with IBD. An occupation-focused approach to prevention of disability could improve the overall quality of life for individuals with IBD. More research is needed to determine if specific occupational therapy interventions, such as participation in leisure activities and mindfulness, could benefit the IBD population.

IMPACT STATEMENT: The research has the potential to expand occupational therapy practice to addressing the unmet quality of life needs of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.


Wilcock, A. A. & Hocking (2015). An occupational perspective of health, 3rd ed. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK.

Renwick, R & Myerscough, T. (2012). Manual for the Quality of Life Profile Adult Version. Toronto, ON: Quality of Life Research Unit, University of Toronto.