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N16 The influence of children's inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on the relationship between parents and their married life

M. Kotkowicz-Szczur*1, J. Kierkuś2, M. Matuszczyk2

1The Children’s Memorial Health Institute, Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Immunology, Warszawa, Poland, 2Children's Memorial Health Institute, 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Feeding disorders and Pediatrics, Warszawa, Poland

Background

Paediatric chronic illnesses, especially severe ones, greatly alter not only the quality of life of child, but also its family and especially its parents. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether and how the relationships between parents of children with UC (ulterative colitis) and CD (Crohn’s disease) had been changed since the diagnosis of the disease.

Methods

The analysis was based on the results of the questionnaire containing 23 questions addressed to the parents of children with IBD. The questions were generally related to the awareness of the child's illness ,subjective assessment of its exacerbation, access to the different kinds of support, marriage misunderstandings due to illness or its exacerbation and the impact of disease on their free time and marriage life. From September 2017, 350 questionnaires were distributed to parents of children with IBD. Till now the 216 completed questionnaires have been returned and 211 of them were included into the analysis (5 were excluded due to lack of complete data). The Student t-test was used for the statistical analysis.

Results

46% of respondents (n = 98) had to permanently resign from work, 64% (n = 134) declared the necessity to give up their hobbies and dreams, and 70% (n = 147) stated that the disease diagnosis had the impact on spending their free time. Only 20 respondents rate the disease at less than 6 in 0–9 scale. Respondents who evaluated the severity of the disease in the 10 points scale (0–9) on 7 or more (n = 161) substantially more frequently than the rest indicated the thinking about parting with a partner because of child's illness (n = 26, p < 0.05), the decrease in frequency sexual activity (n = 93, p < 0.05) and the sexual activity only for marriage obligation (n = 23, p < 0.05). Significantly more (79%, n = 166) of the respondents declared that during the child's disease exacerbation they are much less likely to have physical closeness than only due to diagnosis itself while only (21%, n = 45, p < 0.05). Chronic illness had also an impact on the desire to have another child - 43% of the respondents (n = 91) - stated that due to the IBD diagnosis in the their child they have been resigned from having the further offspring. Statistical analysis show any dependence between sex and the answers to the rest of the questions. Women (67% of the respondents) evaluated the severity of the disease in the 10 points scale (0–9) on average 8.5 while men only 7.

Conclusion

Based on above results we concluded that the diagnosis of IBD in the child have a significant impact on the relationship between the parents and their married life. Families are forced to change their way of life or resign from work to make the care of their child.