Quality of life in children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a key focus of research presented at the 2010 Advances in IBD conference in Hollywood, Florida. Two of the top abstracts address social isolation and patient adherence to medication regimens among teenagers with IBD.
In a study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, researchers assessed the needs of adolescent patients and their parents. The results will be used to develop a new empowering tool that features Web-based education and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to help minimize the social isolation that these patients face and to assist them with the transition from pediatric to adult gastroenterology and self-management of their disease.
Another study conducted in Wisconsin addressed the problem of nonadherence in adolescents with IBD. Investigators at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, found that the extent of teenagers’ involvement in their own disease management may be of greater importance in identifying those at risk for nonadherence than simply asking patients whether they are taking their medications as scheduled.
Other oral and poster presentations at the conference on quality of life in pediatric patients with IBD will cover the role of anxiety in youths with IBD, guided imagery treatment for abdominal discomfort in pediatric patients, barriers to medication compliance in adolescents, and parental over-protection and anxiety/depression.
“The Advances conference is bringing together top researchers who have focused on critical areas known to impact the quality of life for IBD patients. The tools and knowledge we gain with studies such as these are critical for a physician or nurse in providing the best advice and treatment for our patients,” said Richard P. MacDermott, MD, of Albany Medical College in New York, who is co-chair of the conference.