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NON-FINANCIAL COSTS


COMPARISON BETWEEN IBD AND THE GENERAL POPULATION


The second way to measure quality of life is to use a “generic” questionnaire, meaning a questionnaire that can be given to anyone and everyone, regardless of their health or whether they have a specific disease. This type of survey is very good for comparing quality of life across different diseases. It allows us to see what the normal level is for the general population, and then compare to individuals with a specific disease. It is important to note that the general population norm is made up of people with all kinds of levels of health and all kinds of diseases. This is not the same as “good health”, it is instead “average health” for a mixture of people in the community – some will be very fit and healthy, and others will have various chronic diseases.


The most common generic quality of life tool is called the Short Form 36 (SF-36, so called because it has 36 questions, and is a shorter – but just as accurate – version of a longer questionnaire). Compared to the population norm, people with both CD and UC scored lower on the SF-36.136


Scores were lowest for those with the most symptoms. Scores were


significantly different for almost all of the eight different aspects of quality of life measured by the SF-36 (such as, physical functioning, social functioning, mental health). Figure 1 compares the people with UC and CD to the standard population. The “general health” dimension was the worst compared to the standard population, followed by role-physical and role-emotional.


Figure 1: Standardized scores for patients with UC and patients with CD, adjusted for age, sex, and educational level (0 = reference population)


PF = physical functioning, RP = role physical, BP = bodily pain, GH = general health, VT = vitality, SF = social functioning, RE = role emotional, MH = mental health


THE IMPACT OF INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE IN CANADA 72


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