In sickness and in health : social support and inflammatory bowel disease.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), are highly debilitating conditions which affect approximately 15,000 New Zealanders. The aim of the current study was to investigate factors which potentially influence the disease course of IBD such as life stress, depressive symptoms and social support. 60 participants (46 with CD and 14 with UC) completed an online questionnaire on measures of disease severity, stress, mental health, quality of life and social support. Participants with lower perceived social support (r = -.398, p < .01), higher stress (r = .292, p < .05), higher depressive symptoms (r = .287, r = .330, p < .05), higher anxiety symptoms (r = .289, p < .05) and lower quality of life (r = -.302, p < .05) had higher disease severity. Results failed to support a moderation relationship between social support and either stress and illness severity or depressive symptoms and illness severity. Results suggest perceived social support, stress and mental health are important treatment considerations, in addition moderate rates of mental health symptoms were reported by the sample highlighting the importance managing IBD in a biopsychosocial context.