Body Image Dissatisfaction in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Disease type, Treatments, DASS and General Happiness

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Walsh, Caroline
Hyland, Pauline
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Dublin Business School
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This study aimed to examine the association between body image dissatisfaction (BID) in patients of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with factors relating to their disease and emotional states. This was a mixed study of cross-sectional and correlational design. Participants (n = 111) completed a self-reporting questionnaire on demographics, disease type, disease activity, drug therapies and surgical procedures. A depression, anxiety and stress scale (DASS) and a general happiness scale were also included. Qualitative questions (n = 4) addressed the interference IBD had on the patient’s daily life. The results found a significant difference in BID in patients with Crohn’s disease, moderate to severe disease activity and cortisol steroid drug therapy. BID was found to predict DASS and general happiness in patients. Depression and anxiety were found to predict BID revealing a bi-directional relationship. Qualitative analysis suggested that 71.1% of patients had concerns over their appearance and 80.8% of patients reported that these concerns had affected their lives. The presence of BID, negative emotions and the interference these have on patients functioning should be considered in the treatment of IBD. Author keywords: Mental health, body image, inflammatory bowel disease