Stigmatisation and resilience in inflammatory bowel disease

Marco Vincenzo Lenti, Sara Cococcia, Jihane Ghorayeb, Antonio Di Sabatino, Christian P Selinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is an immune-mediated, chronic relapsing disorder characterised by severe gastrointestinal symptoms that dramatically impair patients' quality of life, affecting psychological, physical, sexual, and social functions. As a consequence, patients suffering from this condition may perceive social stigmatisation, which is the identification of negative attributes that distinguish a person as different and worthy of separation from the group. Stigmatisation has been widely studied in different chronic conditions, especially in mental illnesses and HIV-infected patients. There is a growing interest also for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, in which the possibility of disease flare and surgery-related issues seem to be the most important factors determining stigmatisation. Conversely, resilience represents the quality that allows one to adopt a positive attitude and good adjustments despite adverse life events. Likewise, resilience has been studied in different populations, age groups, and chronic conditions, especially mental illnesses and cancer, but little is known about this issue in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, even if this could be an interesting area of research. Resilience can be strengthened through dedicated interventions that could potentially improve the ability to cope with the disease. In this paper, we focus on the current knowledge of stigmatisation and resilience in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Social Stigma

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