PURPOSE Little is known about disease-specific health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) changes over time in paediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and about their associations with baseline medical characteristics.
METHODS In this study, 153 paediatric patients with IBD from the multicentre prospective Swiss IBD cohort study were included at baseline. Of these, 90 patients were analysed at a 1-year follow-up. Medical data were extracted from hospital records, while HRQoL data were measured using the standardized, self-report disease-specific IMPACT-III questionnaire.
RESULTS The IBD diagnosis of the included children was made an average of 2.0 years before their baseline assessment. Over the 1-year follow-up period, a significant increase in overall HRQoL and in the HRQoL domain 'physical functioning' was evident. On multivariate analysis, overall HRQoL changes over time were predicted by baseline HRQoL, baseline disease activity, and disease activity changes over time. HRQoL improvements were significantly associated with decreases in physician-assessed disease activity. Children reporting a low baseline HRQoL and children with inactive or mildly-active disease experienced greater improvements.
CONCLUSIONS Children with more severe baseline disease activity had the greatest risk for HRQoL deterioration over the 1-year follow-up period. However, among possible factors that might influence HRQoL changes over time, the child's medical characteristics explained only a small proportion of their variability in our sample. We, therefore, recommend that researchers and clinicians focus on factors that are not incorporated within the multidimensional HRQoL concept if they seek to gain better insights into factors that influence HRQoL changes over time in children with IBD.