There is increased interest in measuring patient-reported outcomes (PROs) such as quality of life (QoL) among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We aimed to create and validate a new measure of QoL to assess the psychosocial burden of IBD using publicly available assessment tools.
Using the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's IBD Partners cohort, we performed several cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses to create a new PRO-based evaluation (PROBE) of QoL among patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). We used factor analysis and Pearson correlation test to identify candidate questions for inclusion, Wilcoxon rank-sum test to examine responsiveness of the PROBE to changes in disease activity, and test-retest reliability assessments in patients with stable disease activity. We also compared the PROBE to the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire to assess construct validity.
A total of 4,854 patients (64% CD, 36% UC) completed surveys with 6 items included in the final PROBE. Compared with baseline there was a significant decrease in PROBE scores at follow-up among patients who experienced a flare for UC (25.0 vs 22.2, P = 0.001) and CD (23.1 vs 21.0, P < 0.001). Among patients with stable disease activity, Cronbach alpha was 0.87 in CD and 0.82 in UC. The PROBE correlated well with the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire in CD (r = 0.88) and UC (r = 0.86).
We created a novel measure to assess QoL in patients with IBD using publicly available survey items. This new PROBE can be used to facilitate clinical care, clinical and epidemiological research, and quality improvement.