Objective. Patients with short-bowel syndrome (SBS) have impaired health-related quality of life (QoL). However, comparisons of QoL data with the data on other chronic gastrointestinal diseases are not available. The aim of this study was to assess QoL in SBS patients compared with that in the general population and with patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The potential relation between fatigue and gastrointestinal symptoms and impaired QoL in these patients was also investigated. Material and methods. Four validated questionnaires were used to measure aspects of QoL (SF-36), psychological distress (hospital anxiety and depression scale, HAD), fatigue (fatigue impact scale, FIS), and gastrointestinal symptoms (gastrointestinal symptom rating scale, GSRS) in 26/28 patients (93%) attending a SBS clinic (median age 62 years, 15 F/11 M) at a tertiary referral center. Persons from the general population (n=286) as well as patients with IBD (n=41) of similar age and gender distribution as the SBS group acted as controls. Results. SBS patients had significantly lower SF-36 physical and mental component summaries than those in the general population as well as significantly lower SF-36 physical (p0.05) component summaries compared with those of IBD patients. Fatigue and gastrointestinal symptoms were more severe in SBS patients than in IBD patients (p>0.05). The SF-36 physical component summary was independently related to the physical FIS dimension (beta=-0.4, p=0.004), the GSRS eating dysfunction dimension (beta=-0.31, p=0.025), and opiate use (beta=-0.28, p=0.031), regardless of diagnosis (SBS or IBD). Conclusions. Patients with SBS show poor QoL compared with that in the general population and also impairment of mainly physical health compared with that in patients with IBD. Fatigue and gastrointestinal symptoms are more severe in patients with SBS, which has an impact on QoL. 2008 Informa UK Ltd.
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