Mechanisms of Quality of Life and Social Support in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
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Cognitive and social factors are essential considerations in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient management, but existing research is limited. This study aims to expand the IBD literature by examining the relationship between social supports and QoL, while examining mechanisms in these relationships. Consenting patients attending an IBD outpatient clinic were provided a survey package (N = 164). Regressions evaluated predictors of IBD-QoL, and catastrophizing and optimism were examined as mediators between social support and IBD-QoL. Diminished IBD-QoL was predicted by younger age, greater negative spousal responses, and less perceived spousal support. Mediation models showed helplessness catastrophizing to be the lone mediator, acting as a mechanism between both negative spousal responses and perceived spousal support with IBD-QoL. Social interaction variables are associated with IBD-QoL, but patients’ experience of helplessness acts to reduce their ability to benefit from social support. Patient care should consider supportive social and cognitive factors to improve IBD-QoL.
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