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N001. Development of a simple stressometer to assess stress in inflammatory bowel disease patients

D. Keegan1, K. Byrne1, G. Cullen1, G. Doherty1, H. Mulcahy1, 1St. Vincent's University Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Dublin, Ireland

Background

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with considerable psychosocial dysfunction, and both depression and anxiety are known to occur frequently in IBD patients. However, there is no simple instrument available for assessing stress in IBD and little is know about stress in IBD clinical practice.

Aim: To develop a simple and valid tool for measuring stress in IBD patients and assess factors associated with stress.

Methods

303 IBD patients (mean age 41 years (range 16–91), 164 male) attending an ambulatory IBD clinic completed a questionnaire that measured stress with a simple 11 point scale (0–10) stressometer. Patients also completed the depression, anxiety and stress score 21 (DASS-21).

Results

The stressometer correlated well with stress as measured using the DASS-21 (correlation coefficient (rs) 0.57; p < 0.001), establishing concurrent validity. It performed less well with anxiety (rs 0.43; p < 0.001) and depression (rs 0.41; p < 0.001) establishing discriminant validity. Stress was increased in patients with active disease (p < 0.001) and was associated with disease related quality of life (p < 0.001), establishing predictive validity. Linear regression analysis showed that stress levels, as measured by the stressometer, was significantly and independently associated with younger age (p = 0.02), female gender (p < 0.001), steroid use (p = 0.05) and low consumption of alcohol.

Conclusion

The stressometer is a simple and valid instrument for measuring stress in IBD patients and is associated with a number of clinical and demographic variables.