Perceptions of and Experiences with the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Ashley L. Taylor, Jane Kogan, Jessica Meyers, Stephen Lupe, Benjamin Click, Benjamin Cohen, Eva Szigethy, Laurie Keefer, Cara Nikolajski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased feelings of emotional distress and disruptions in care across diverse patients subgroups, including those with chronic medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). We sought to understand the impact of the pandemic on the physical and emotional well-being of individuals with IBD and concurrent depression and/or anxiety symptoms. We conducted qualitative interviews after the beginning of the pandemic with 46 adults with IBD. Participants reported increased levels of emotional distress, feelings of social isolation, and uncertainty over whether IBD medications put them at increased risk. Young adults discussed feeling as if their lives had been disrupted. In addition, several individuals demonstrated resiliency and emphasized positives about the pandemic, including increased connectivity with family and friends, the convenience of being able to work from home despite their IBD symptoms, and lessened feelings of “missing out.” Our findings highlight several opportunities to improve the health and well-being of individuals with IBD and beyond including increased support for combatting social isolation, enhanced counseling about medication risks and benefits, and the incorporation of resiliency skills building.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Chronic disease
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Mental health
  • Psychological
  • Resilience
  • Telemedicine
  • Young adult

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