Attachment and quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Research paper by Alessandro A Agostini, Marco M Moretti, Carlo C Calabrese, Fernando F Rizzello, Paolo P Gionchetti, Mauro M Ercolani, Massimo M Campieri

Indexed on: 19 Jul '14Published on: 19 Jul '14Published in: International Journal of Colorectal Disease


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic disorders affecting psychological well-being, quality of life (QOL), social interactions, and close interpersonal relationships of patients affected. The attachment theory provides a theoretical framework to evaluate the quality of close interpersonal relationships in the context of chronic disorders. The aims of this study were to compare the attachment dimensions between IBD patients and healthy controls and to evaluate the impact of these dimensions on QOL in IBD patients.One hundred three consecutive IBD outpatients (70 with Crohn's disease and 33 with ulcerative colitis) were recruited in the IBD Unit of the University of Bologna. They were clinically evaluated and filled out the questionnaire Short Form health survey-36 (SF-36), assessing QOL, and the attachment style questionnaire (ASQ), assessing attachment dimensions. One hundred three matched healthy subjects filled out the same questionnaires and represented the control group.IBD patients exhibited worst scores in the QOL measures (both physical and mental health) and in the attachment dimensions Relationships as secondary and Preoccupation with relationships. In IBD, the significant predictors of physical health were disease activity and disease type, while the significant predictors of mental health were disease activity and type, surgery, and the attachment dimensions Confidence and Preoccupation with relationships.Compared to controls, in IBD patients, the close interpersonal relationships are characterized by attachment insecurity that, in turn, is a significant predictor of QOL. These findings suggest plausible insights for psychological interventions in IBD patients with deterioration in QOL.