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P173. An international survey on ulcerative colitis: Perspectives from patients and healthcare professionals

D. Solomon1, D. Holley2, M. Buch2, N. Pym3, K. Paridaens4

1Shire Development Inc., Wayne, PA, United States; 2GfK HealthCare, London, United Kingdom; 3Consultant, Shire Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Basingstoke, United Kingdom; 4Shire AG, Eysins, Switzerland

Background: Adult patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and healthcare professionals (HCP) treating UC participated in a Web-based survey examining experiences of living with and managing UC.

Methods: Recruitment consisted of pre-identification and random sampling of patient and HCP access panels, and employment of custom “phone-to-Web” strategies; patients and HCPs were not necessarily linked. Patient advocacy groups and associations were not used for recruitment. The survey was conducted in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Results: A total of 775 patients, 475 physicians, and 50 nurses completed the survey. The majority of patients (53%) rated their UC as moderate in severity; by comparison, physicians estimated that a majority of their UC patients (52%) had mild cases. Patients also reported experiencing 5.5 flares/year (self-defined) while physicians estimated that patients experienced a typical average of 3.4 flares/year. Patients admitted to reporting fewer flares to their HCP (4.2 flares/year) than they experienced. Stress was most frequently cited (40%) as the most common cause of flares by patients; natural disease course ranked second (27%), followed by changes from regular diet (21%) and not taking preventive therapy (13%). Physicians listed natural disease course as the most common cause of flare (51%), followed by not taking preventive therapy (28%), stress (19%), and changes in diet (1%). A greater percentage of patients (55%) reported that UC symptoms disrupted their quality of life (QoL) compared with physician estimates (35%). Patients ranked urgency (30%) and pain (25%) as the most bothersome symptoms of UC. Physicians ranked urgency (36%) and stool frequency (34%) as most bothersome; pain was ranked as most bothersome by only 11% of physicians. Patients had lower expectations in defining remission compared with physicians; 52% of patients believed that they could be in remission while experiencing symptoms, while 63% of physicians defined remission as the complete absence of symptoms. While 72% of patients listed their HCP as their main source of UC information, only 41% regularly arranged visits to their HCP.

Conclusions: Survey results revealed important differences between patients' and HCPs' perceptions of UC and the impact of UC on QoL. HCPs may underestimate the burden of UC perceived by patients, suggesting a need for improved patient-physician communication.