Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 22, Issue 5, Pages 475-483
Original Article

A Comparison of Self-Perceived Health Status in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients from a Canadian National Population Survey

Linda YL Tang,1,2 Alice Nabalamba,3 Leslie A Graff,2,4 and Charles N Bernstein1,2

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Canada
2University of Manitoba Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical and Research Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
3Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
4Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Received 4 December 2007; Accepted 4 March 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether differences exist in perceptions of physical health, mental health and stress levels between patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

METHODS: Data were obtained from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, which had a sample size of 132,947 Canadians. Information on 4441 participants aged 19 years or older who reported that they had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (n=474), ulcerative colitis (n=637) or IBS (n=3330) was analyzed regarding perceptions of their physical health, mental health, stress levels and activity levels.

RESULTS: Overall, IBD patients reported being in fair to poor health (P<0.01) more often than IBS patients. In addition, IBS patients were more likely than IBD patients to report poor mental health status (P<0.01) and greater stress levels (P<0.01). In multivariate analyses, having IBS or IBD along with another chronic disease significantly increased the odds of reporting poorer health status.

CONCLUSIONS: People with IBD were more likely to experience fair or poor general health. IBS patients reported higher levels of stress and poorer mental health than IBD patients. When IBS or IBD coexisted with another chronic condition, activity participation at home and at work was significantly more likely to be impaired.