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NO001. Self-care among patients with inflammatory bowel disease - an interview study

U. Lovén Wickman1,2, P. Yngman Uhlin1, H. Hjortswang3, B.J. Riegel4, H. Stjernman5, G. Hollman Frisman1,6, 1University of Linköping, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Sciences, Linköping, Sweden, 2County Council of Kalmar, Health centre, Blomstermåla, Sweden, 3County Council of Östergötland and University of Linköping, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division for Gastroenterology, Linköping, Sweden, 4University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Pennsylvania, United States, 5County Council of Jönköping, Department of Medicine, County Hospital Ryhov, Jönköping, Sweden, 6County Council of Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Speciality Surgery Centre, Linköping, Sweden


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of unknown etiology. The disease occurs early in life and the burden of symptoms is the main problem. Patients need to perform self-care to handle their symptoms but knowledge about what kind of self-care patients do is limited and these typically young individuals need to learn how to manage the symptoms that arise.


Twenty adult patients with IBD, 26–66 years of age were interviewed. A qualitative content analysis was performed.


Four categories with ten sub-categories emerged from the analyses of the interviews. The self-care patients perform consist of symptom recognition (subcategories: physiological sensations and psychological sensations), handling of symptoms (subcategories: adapting the diet, using medical treatment, stress management and using complementary or alternative medicine), planning life (subcategories: planning for when to do activities and when to refrain from activities) and seeking new options (subcategories: seeking knowledge and personal contacts).


Patients with IBD manage their lives through a broad range of self-care activities. Self-care consists of recognition, handling, planning and seeking new options to increase personal well-being. Being one step ahead facilitates the ability to live a full life.