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P162. Quality of life in inflammatory bowel disease: What does the Short Health Scale actually measure?

E. McDermott1, V. Kale1, N. Rafter1, D. Keegan1, K. Byrne1, M. Forry2, G. Doherty1, G. Cullen1, K. Malone3, S. Patchett2, H. Mulcahy1, 1St Vincent's University Hospital, Centre for Colorectal Disease, Dublin, Ireland, 2Beaumont Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Dublin, Ireland, 3St Vincent's University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Dublin, Ireland


The Short Health Scale (SHS) is a validated four-part visual analogue scale questionnaire designed to assess the impact of inflammatory bowel disease on health related quality of life (QOL). The four dimensions include bowel symptoms, activities of daily life, worry and general well being. SHS scores are known to be associated with disease activity, but it is not known if other clinical or demographic features, such as therapy or surgery, are associated with individual domains. Aim: To assess patient factors associated with SHS QOL scores.


631 patients, (mean age 41 years; 325 males) attending one of two tertiary referral IBD centres completed a survey instrument detailing patient demographics, quality of life (using the SHS) and other social variables.


Median SHS score was 162 (range 0–400), with higher scores indicating a poor QOL. The total SHS score was independently associated with both mild (p < 0.001) and moderate (p < 0.001) disease activity, female gender (p = 0.009) and smoking (p = 0.045). Disease activity was also independently associated with each individual dimension (p < 0.001) across all four dimensions. Female gender was associated with more worry, higher symptom burden and worse well-being, (all p < 0.05). In addition, smoking was associated with more worry and worse well-being (all p < 0.05). In contrast, use of immune modulators or biologic agents had no impact on any of the four dimensions. In addition, previous surgery, educational level achieved or family history of ibd had no impact on any QOL dimension.


The SHS is closely associated with disease activity, and worsens with increasing activity. However, other specific patient factors, including gender and smoking are also related to disease specific QOL. Further study of psychosocial and biological variables may help explain the wide range in QOL scores and provide a more individually tailored approach to patient care.