Highlights from

ECCO 2019

European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation's 14th congress

Copenhagen 6-9 March 2019

Complementary and alternative medicine associated with chronic fatigue and lower QoL

One third of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients in a Norwegian cohort reported use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) 20 years after diagnosis. CAM use was associated with female gender, younger age, disease activity, chronic fatigue, and lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores in 3 out of 8 dimensions of the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) [1].

From January 1990 to December 1993, all newly diagnosed patients with IBD from a well-defined area in South Eastern Norway were included in the Inflammatory Bowel South-Eastern Norway (IBSEN) study. The 20-year follow-up was conducted between 2011 and 2014. The Fatigue Questionnaire, the Short-Form 36 (SF-36), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were used to measure chronic fatigue, HRQOL, and anxiety and depression, respectively. Additionally, patients answered a questionnaire about CAM use.

Of 599 patients invited, 470 (ulcerative colitis 314, Crohn’s disease 156) participated in the study. Of these, 439 produced evaluable questionnaires. The use of CAM for their IBD was reported by 28% (n=122/439). CAM users were more likely to be women than men (60% vs 40%; P=0.02) and were younger than non-users (mean 49 vs 56 years; P<0.001). A significantly higher proportion of CAM users reported chronic fatigue (30% vs 20%; P=0.02). CAM users had significantly lower SF-36 scores in the following 3 dimensions: Vitality (51 vs 57; P≤0.01), Physical functioning (85 vs 89; P=0.04), and Social functioning (77 vs 84; P=0.01). There were no differences in anxiety and depression scores.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, fatigue

  1. Opheim R, et al. ECCO 2019, P250.

Top image: © Pornpak Khunatorn

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