Preventing disability in inflammatory bowel disease

Patrick B. Allen, Corinne Gower-Rousseau, Silvio Danese, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Disability is a common worldwide health challenge and it has been increasing over the past 3 decades. The treatment paradigm has changed dramatically in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) from control of symptoms towards full control of disease (clinical and endoscopic remission) with the goal of preventing organ damage and disability. These aims are broadly similar to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Since the 1990s, our attention has focused on quality of life in IBD, which is a subjective measure. However, as an objective end-point in clinical trials and population studies, measures of disability in IBD have been proposed. Disability is defined as ‘…any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.’ Recently, after 10 years of an international collaborative effort with the World Health Organization (WHO), a disability index was developed and validated. This index ideally would assist with the assessment of disease progression in IBD. In this review, we will provide the evidence to support the use of disability in IBD patients, including experience from rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. New treatment strategies, and validation studies that have underpinned the interest and quantification of disability in IBD, will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-876
Number of pages12
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Crohn’s disease
  • disability
  • functioning
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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